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Storage Magazine - November 2011 Edition

Storage Magazine - November 2011 Edition



latest issue of Storage magazine offers an in-depth exploration of the latest trends and technologies in storage today. Article include:...

latest issue of Storage magazine offers an in-depth exploration of the latest trends and technologies in storage today. Article include:

Get real about the cloud
Time is right for SSDs
Best fit for scale-out NAS
Hybrid clouds gain favor
Tale of the tape
And much more



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    Storage Magazine - November 2011 Edition Storage Magazine - November 2011 Edition Document Transcript

    • NAS BUYING TIPS • DR MONITORING APPS Managing the information that drives the enterpriseSTORAGE Storage Pay Still Vol. 10 No. 9 November 2011 On theALSO INSIDEGet real about the cloudTime is right for SSDsBest fit for scale-out NAS Rise With an economy stuck in neutral, storageHybrid clouds gain favor professionals’ paychecksTale of the tape are still growing— but for job satisfaction, money isn’t everything.
    • STORAGE 5 inside | november 2011 Let’s get real about the cloud EDITORIAL You’ll need to look past the “irrational exuberance” of the cloud storage market to get a real handle on how it might fit into your data storage environment. by RICH CASTAGNA Time is right for SSDs 8 RANDOM ACCESS Solid-state was a latecomer to enterprise storage and had to be retrofitted into data centers. But new low-cost systems built specifically for solid-state are generating a lot of interest. by DAVE RAFFO Salary survey: Storage pros’ pay still on the rise 11 Even with an economy that’s stubbornly stuck in neutral, data storage professionals’ paychecks reflect modest yet welcome increases. by ELLEN O’BRIEN NAS system buying decisions 21 Whether you’re dealing with big data issues or just trying to stem the tide of file data, new developments in NAS systems and a wide range of products create a bevy of attractive alternatives. by JACOB NORBEL GSOEDL Disaster recovery readiness monitoring applications 33 Developing and implementing disaster recovery plans can be complex and time-consuming, but a new class of apps can help you see if your DR plans are in sync with your IT operations. by PAUL KIRVAN, CISA, FBCI, CBCP Who really needs scale-out systems? 43 HOT SPOTS Industries that once operated in traditional paper-based models are finding themselves overwhelmed by their digital data stores. But scale-out NAS can provide high-performance application support. by TERRI MCCLURE Cloud storage ahead of the pack for hybrid cloud deployments 48 READ/WRITE The idea of turning over storage systems to the cloud hasn’t caught on with enterprises, but hybrid cloud storage products show how to leverage both in-house and off-site storage. by JEFF BYRNE Tape still plays a role in the data center 52 SNAPSHOT In our latest Snapshot survey, 58% of Storage readers say they’re using tape as much or more than they did three years ago and only 16% have banished tape entirely. by RICH CASTAGNA From our sponsors 54 Useful links from our sponsors.3 STORAGE November 2011
    • server roomsthat requireGPs NaviGatioN. soLveD. We get that virtualization can drive a better ROI. Highly certified by Microsoft, VMware, HP and others, we can evaluate, design and implement the right solution for you. We’ll get you out of this mess at CDW.com/virtualization©2011 CDW LLC. CDW®, CDW•G® and PeOPLe WHO Get It™ are trademarks of CDW LLC.
    • editorial | rich castagna Let’s get real about the cloud c You’ll need to look past the “irrational exuberance” of the cloud storage market to get a real handle on how it might fit into your data storage environment. LOUD STORAGE IS limitless. Cloud storage is ubiquitous. Cloud storage is elastic. Cloud storage is economical. Cloud storage will bring world peace, cureGet real about the cloud cancer and balance the budget. Yes, I’ve bought into all the promises about cloud storage, but I’m not quite ready to drink the Kool-Aid, chant the cloud storage mantra and Time is right for SSDs stagger into the ether like some zombie extra from Night of the Living Dead. I’d feel a little more comfortable if we could just squeeze the word “po- tentially” into those four “Cloud storage is . . .” sentences above. Salary survey It’s not just the relentless vendor hype—it’s turning into a story about expectation and maybe even just a dab or two of exaggeration. NAS systems Gartner, IDC and just about any analyst firm with at least a toe in the data storage market waters have pitched predictions of runaway growth for the cloud computing market. The Computing Technology Industry DR readiness Association (CompTIA) recently issued a report detailing the results of monitoring its cloud computing survey. In the report’s description of the cloud market, CompTIA cited Gartner’s prediction that “cloud storage will grow at 89.5% Scale-out CAGR to $2.88 billion” by 2015. The report also noted IDC’s prediction, which systems isn’t restricted to just storage: “IDC predicts that public cloud IT spending will grow from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $72.9 billion in 2015.” Hybrid cloud But CompTIA is careful to point out that current expenditures for cloud deployments services represent approximately 2% of the whole IT spend, so even if it doubles it’s still just a drop in the bucket in the big IT picture. And if I’m going to do any finger-pointing, I also have to point at us. OurTale of the tape most recent survey research shows that approximately 21% of companies use cloud storage services for non-backup purposes, and about 28% of Sponsor them use some form of cloud backup for at least one app. Those are pretty resources good numbers for relatively new technologies, but we’ve also seen some ups and downs with our stats, which might indicate that companies are just testing cloud storage rather than committing to it. We need a little context to be able to look at cloud storage in a rational 5 Copyright 2011, TechTarget. No part of this publication may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher. For permissions or reprint information, please contact Mike Kelly, VP and Group Publisher (mkelly@techtarget.com). Storage May 2010
    • STORAGE manner and to see where it may be appropriate as an addition/replacement to on-premises storage. Billion-dollar predictions and multi-digit growth rates aren’t nearly as impressive if you consider the starting point. If I’m only spending $1 today but plan to spend $2 next year, it’s a 100% hike, but it’s still just two bucks. Approaching cloud storage from a practical point of view will yield much better results for users and providers alike. “Cloud-based email, storage, backup and recovery, and business productivity applications are in the high- est demand among customers buying cloud solutions today,” the CompTIA report noted. And it’s hardly surprising; these are the most mature areas of cloud storage and probably even cloud computing as a whole.Get real about On the horizon, I expect mobile computing to be a big—and maybe the cloud On the horizon, the main—incentive for companies to buy into cloud storage services. I expect mobile Time is right for SSDs Smartphones, tablets and whatever computing to be a ultraportable form factor is around the corner pose special problems big—and maybe the Salary survey for IT and storage managers in main—incentive for particular. These devices can create companies to buy into a situation in which corporate data NAS systems is created, modified and deleted cloud storage services. without it ever being stored on DR readiness data center gear or maybe without it ever even passing through the data monitoring center. You could argue that the mobile scenario already exists with remote offices, but remote offices have a physical presence that could be tied Scale-out relatively easily into centralized resources if desired. systems Although the vendors tend to paint an all-or-nothing picture of cloud storage (“No more backups!”), it’s likely that hybrid solutions that integrate Hybrid cloud cloud resources with installed systems will best satisfy our needs for deployments some time to come. It’s a reasonable approach that’s relatively free from hyperbole, but there are still just a handful of players trying to bridgeTale of the tape those two environments. I expect this market will be “justified” as soon as both the heavy-metal and cloud guys in the storage industry realize that working together just makes sense. 2 Sponsor resources Rich Castagna (rcastagna@storagemagazine.com) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group. * Click here for a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the December 2011 issue. 6 STORAGE November 2011
    • EMC PRESENTS“Discover the Power of Next Generation Backup” See why EMC is the leader in backup and recovery at www.EMC.com/transformbackup.EMC2, EMC, and the EMC logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries.All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.© Copyright 2011 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Source: IDC Worldwide Purpose Built Backup Appliance 2010-2015 Market Analysis and Forecast, 2010 Vendor Shares report (May 2011).
    • random access | dave raffo Time is right for SSDs n Solid-state was a latecomer to enterprise storage and had to be retrofitted into data centers. But a new generation of systems built specifically for solid-state are keeping costs down and interesting users.Get real about O MATTER HOW much hype it receives, no storage technology is welcomed the cloud with open arms in a data center. It always has to kick the door down. Even technologies that have become established, such as iSCSI and Time is right data deduplication, had periods of doubt and mistrust before they scored for SSDs big. Large vendors are often slow to adopt the new technologies, and users aren’t sure what to make of them. But vendors such as EqualLogic and LeftHand showed that iSCSI could make life easier on administrators Salary survey and maybe save them some money in the process. Data Domain did the same for data deduplication and backup. NAS systems Now we could be at a similar breakthrough point with solid-state storage. Solid-state isn’t a new technology, but it was a latecomer to enterprise storage. When it arrived a few years ago, it promised no cost savings but DR readiness monitoring a performance boost. It was offered first by EMC and soon after by the other large storage vendors. But their attempts to fit solid-state drives (SSDs) into storage arrays built for spinning disk negated much of the Scale-out performance gain and its high cost remained a stumbling block. systems “Flash was supposed to be revolutionary in the data center, but most people couldn’t afford the revolution,” said Scott Dietzen, CEO at flash Hybrid cloud SAN startup Pure Storage. deployments Pure Storage is among a new generation of vendors with SSD systems that are promising another revolution, similar to the ones that spawnedTale of the tape iSCSI and dedupe. Nimbus Data Systems started it in 2010 and others such as Kaminario, Pure Storage and SolidFire have followed with all-flash SANs. XIO (the storage company formerly known as Xiotech) has adapted its Sponsor resources unique ISE architecture into a hybrid system with flash and spinning disk. These systems were built or modified specifically for solid-state, and costs are kept down by including management features that the estab- lished disk vendors usually charge extra for. They’re not only about SSD; they include features storage administrators have come to rely on such 8 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE as snapshots, load balancing, dedupe, high availability and thin provisioning. Factoring in dedupe, some of these vendors say they can sell you all- flash arrays for close to $10 a gigabyte, even less in some cases. If they can do that and make their systems reliable and efficient, that will be an affordable revolution. It’s too early to say if any of these vendors will be successful, but eBay It’s too early to say if has already installed more than 100 any of these vendors TB of Nimbus storage. If these new will be successful, SSD products make it big, you canGet real about expect to see the likes of Dell, EMC, but eBay has already the cloud Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Sys- installed more than tems, IBM and NetApp follow in the 100 TB of Nimbus footsteps of upstart vendors. The Time is right for SSDs established vendors have made some storage. movement. Most now offer lower Salary survey cost multi-level cell (MLC) flash drives with software or firmware that improves the reliability of MLC drives. NetApp broke from the herd by using flash as cache in its arrays, and EMC is preparing systems with flash-based NAS systems PCIe cards in servers. EMC also sells all-flash storage systems, but they’re basic VNX and VMAX arrays with all SSDs and controllers built for hard drives. DR readiness The next step would be for the big vendors to develop controllers for monitoring SSDs instead of retrofitting disk controllers. For years, disk vendors have talked about how they would replace tape. And they might soon make good on the threat: disk may replace tape at Scale-out systems the top of the media endangered species list. But these new flash vendors are talking about sending spinning disk to the technology museum, just as disk vendors claimed they would do to tape. Hybrid cloud Of course, spinning disk will never go away completely. For all the gains deployments it has made as a backup medium, disk still hasn’t completely replaced tape, just as open systems haven’t killed the mainframe and Ethernet will neverTale of the tape kill Fibre Channel in storage networking. I also hear stories of people still using physical (non-virtual) servers, although I can’t confirm those rumors by reading this or other IT publications. Sponsor resources But solid-state’s time is coming in storage, and it will reduce the reliance on spinning disk, especially as the top storage tier. Who knows, maybe there will be a place for hard drives as an archive tier. 2 Dave Raffo is senior news director for TechTarget’s Storage Media Group publications. 9 STORAGE November 2011
    • Quantum’s DXi-Series Appliances with deduplicationprovide higher performance at lower cost than theprovide higher pleading competileading competitor. Q Quantum has helped some of the largest organizations in the world integrate deduplication into their backup process. The benefits they report are immediate and d significant—faster backup and restore, 90%+ reduction in disk needs, automated DR s using remote replication, reduced administration time—all while lowering overall costs u and improving the bottom line. a Our award-winning DXi®-Series appliances deliver a smart, time-saving approach O to disk backup. They are acknowledged technical leaders. In fact, our DXi6500 was t just nominated as a “Best Backup Hardware” finalist in Storage Magazine’s Best j Product of the Year Awards—it’s both faster and up to 45% less expensive than the P leading competitor. le G Get more bang for your backup today. Faster performance. Easier deployment. Lower cost. FContact us to learn more at (8Contact (866) 809-5230 or visit www.quantum.com/dxiPreserving The World’s Most Importan Data. Yours.™Preserving The World’s Most Important©2011 Quantum Corporation. All rights reserved.©2011 Quantum Corporation. rights
    • Storage pros’ pay still onGet real about the cloud the rise Even with an economy that’s stubbornly stuck in neutral, Time is right for SSDs data storage professionals’ paychecks reflect modest Salary survey yet welcome increases. BY ELLEN O’BRIEN NAS systems DATA STORAGE PROFESSIONALS are holding their own during precarious economic times, according to the ninth annual Storage magazine/ DR readiness SearchStorage.com Salary Survey. They’re managing to increase their monitoring overall average salaries and stay optimistic that their paychecks will continue to grow in 2012. Scale-out Despite ongoing unemployment issues and fears of a double-dip systems recession, storage pros who responded to our in-depth survey regarding their salaries, careers, incentives, budgets and benefits managed to Hybrid cloud increase their year-over-year earnings for the ninth year running. deployments When it came to storage projects, our 266 survey respondents seem to fall almost evenly on either side of the recession vs. recovery argu-Tale of the tape ment: approximately half reported they were in “maintenance mode” with budgets restricted. The other half detailed ambitious projects such as multisite data center migrations, creating virtual environments and Sponsor moving to private clouds. resources Asked to become experts in more technologies each year, this year’s crop of respondents expressed a shared concern there isn’t enough time in the day to learn everything there is to know about today’s data storage market. 11 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Salaries stretch, outlook brightens Our 2011 Salary Survey BIG PICTURE: respondents earned an average of $86,926, a Our 2011 respondents reported salaries 5% jump from their 2010 that were 5% higher than last year. salaries. When looking ahead to 2012, this year’s DRILL DOWN: respondents predicted This year’s crop of respondents saw aGet real about their average annual greater year-over-year salary increase than the cloud salaries would jump by last year’s respondents. They also beat out another 4% to $90,392. the 2009 class of survey participants when This year’s respondents it came to annual increase in pay. Time is right for SSDs saw a larger year-over- year increase than last QUOTABLE: year’s crop, who barely “Even with the economy the way it is, Salary survey managed a 1% increase in good resources are being kept within pay vs. 2009. Participants organizations, and if you are good at NAS systems were also a bit gloomier what you do, companies are always last year, predicting their looking for good resources.” salaries wouldn’t budge DR readiness monitoring in the coming year and might even drop. The current group’s estimated Average Salary: Scale-out Looking Back and Looking Ahead systems 4% jump would translate 100,000 to nearly a 10% raise $90,392 $86,926 between 2010 and 2012. $82,668 Hybrid cloud 80,000 deployments 60,000Tale of the tape 40,000 20,000 Sponsor resources $0 2010 2011 2012 12 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Benefits scorecard: Some cuts and high marks Respondents expressed BIG PICTURE: a high level of satis- faction with their Overall satisfaction with company benefits employee benefits in plans was high. the four categories we surveyed: health, dental, DRILL DOWN: vacation and flex-time. 19.6% saw benefits reduced and someGet real about A little more than 60% reported being asked for higher co-pays. the cloud rated their health benefits as good, very good or QUOTABLE: excellent. “I’m being forced to take time [off] instead Time is right for SSDs The majority of respon- of getting overtime pay.” dents (67.9%) said their benefits packages didn’t Salary survey change compared to last year; 10% cited improved Review of Benefits Package 2011 vs. 2010 NAS systems benefits while 19.6% saw them reduced—not a very 2.5% encouraging number but a 10% DR readiness monitoring definite improvement vs. the 19.6% 67.9% 30% who fell into that category last year. Scale-out systems My benefits did not change Hybrid cloud deployments My benefits package was reduced My benefits package was improvedTale of the tape My company does not provide a benefits package Sponsor resources 13 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE How many terabytes are in your paycheck? In 2011, storage pros BIG PICTURE: managing the largest data stores—more Storage pros managing the largest teams than 500 TB—commanded and the most terabytes earned the highest the highest annual average salaries. salary at $110,085. Otherwise, the results DRILL DOWN:Get real about weren’t conclusive enough Just as with terabytes, bigger budgets add the cloud to say that paychecks up to higher pay. Managers with budgets grew right alongside the less than $500,000 earned average annual amount of data managed. salaries of $77,140. Those managing budgets Time is right for SSDs There was also a steady between $1.1 million and $5 million earned rise in compensation as $100,740. it related to the number of Salary survey direct reports. Storage pros QUOTABLE: managing small teams “My ideal job would be . . . mine—but with NAS systems with fewer than five people more skilled staff around me.” earned $81,608, and the average salary climbed DR readiness monitoring steadily to $122,667 for those managing between Average 2011 Salary Based on Terabytes Managed 21 and 50 IT team Scale-out systems members. None $86,818 Less than 1 TB $59,500 Hybrid cloud deployments 1 TB to 9 TB $78,938 10 TB to 99 TB $84,384Tale of the tape 100 TB to 500 TB $78,180 Sponsor More than 500 TB $110,085 resources $0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 14 STORAGE November 2011
    • PING drivesinnovation withFluid Data™storage Eric Hart, Network / Infrastructure Manager, PINGStorage designed for virtualization keepscustom golf club maker on par with progress.Visit www.e cientvirtualstorage.com to learn how your organization can drive greatere ciency and flexibility with Fluid Data storage from Dell. Scan the QR code with your smart phone to see how Fluid Data gives PING the freedom to innovate and grow as a business or visit www.compellent.com/PINGDrivesInnovation.
    • STORAGE Pacific region wins by a nose Respondents from the BIG PICTURE: Pacific region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, The Pacific region took top honors in the Oregon and Washington) regional salary comparison. Last year’s averaged salaries of winner, New England, ranked second. $95,526, pushing them to first place after the region DRILL DOWN:Get real about ranked fourth in last year’s Nearly all our regional divisions ranked the cloud survey. New England, closely together in terms of salary; only and the Northwest and the Mountain and Southeast regions Southwest regions were averaged below $80,000. Time is right for SSDs bunched closely, finishing second, third and fourth, QUOTABLE: respectively. “Philadelphia is a small IT community. I Salary survey The Southeast region have made good connections with people brought up the rear (as I see again and again.” NAS systems it did last year) with an average annual salary of $79,161. Slightly higher DR readiness monitoring was the Mountain region Average 2011 Salary by Region (repeating last year’s Pacific $95,526 placement) with an aver- Scale-out New England $92,750 systems age salary of $79,837. In Canada, data storage Northwest $91,667 professionals reported Southwest $91,475 Hybrid cloud deployments earning an average annual Mid-Atlantic $90,364 salary of $85,938, putting Midwest $87,655 them ahead of two U.S.Tale of the tape regions. Canada $85,938 Mountain $79,837 Sponsor Southeast $79,161 resources $0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 16 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE In a complex market, experience counts College graduates BIG PICTURE: earned more than high school graduates, but Years on the job count, but the real only by a sliver. However, payoff is in years of dedicated storage years of dedicated data experience. storage experience defi- nitely make a difference— DRILL DOWN:Get real about no matter what the level College graduates earn about the same as the cloud of education. A college IT pros who attended college for two years. graduate with less than The highest paid group of survey respon- two years of dedicated dents held Master’s degrees and had more Time is right for SSDs storage experience aver- than 10 years of dedicated storage aged $78,064. With six experience. years to 10 years of dedi- Salary survey cated storage experience, QUOTABLE: salaries rose to $88,303. “I’m always learning something new. It’s NAS systems A warning to newbies: challenging.” In tough economic times, many companies weed DR readiness monitoring out applicants without diplomas. Average 2011 Salary as It Relates to Years in IT Another way to increase Scale-out systems salaries was to have one, One to five years $65,714 two or three certifications, with each one boosting Hybrid cloud Six to 10 years $68,561 deployments earning potential, accord- ing to our survey. After three, however, the math 11 to 15 years $81,621Tale of the tape stopped working and paychecks leveled off. 16 to 20 years $95,049 Sponsor resources More than $94,772 20 years $0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 17 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Salary, career advancement are chief motivators A little over 65% of BIG PICTURE: respondents cited salary as the No. 1 When choosing a job, salary trumps all factor in their choice of other considerations. job. Career advancement was the second reason DRILL DOWN: cited by respondents for Career advancement ranks second inGet real about changing or taking a considerations, while location and benefits the cloud new job. competed for least important factors. When asked about the least important factors in QUOTABLE: Time is right for SSDs their job choice, benefits “My salary is representative of a (43.3%) and location (25.4%) commitment the company has to IT.” landed at the bottom of the Salary survey priority list. Only 1.3% of respondents NAS systems voted salary as their least Most Important Factors in Job Choice important factor. 6.7% 6.7% 2.1% 3.3% Salary DR readiness monitoring Career advancement Job responsibilities 15.8% Location 65.4% Scale-out Benefits systems Other Hybrid cloud deployments Least Important Factors in Job Choice 1.3% 3.4% BenefitsTale of the tape Location 13.3% Job responsibilities 13.3% 43.3% Career advancement Sponsor resources Salary 25.4% Other 18 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE The time of their lives In 2011, survey partici- BIG PICTURE: pants were squarely focused on that most Smart peers and respect from the business valuable of resources: side of the company go a long way. time. Whether it was the speed at which projects DRILL DOWN: get completed, the hours Business leaders who undervalue storageGet real about spent on documentation and budget cuts continue to plague storage the cloud or red tape—or too many pros. Work-life balance helps ease the pain. hours spent in a car and too few at the dinner QUOTABLE: Time is right for SSDs table—respondents were “It’s a great place to work. It’s not often made happy or unhappy that I miss the kids’ soccer games.” depending on how much Salary survey control they had over their time. Long hours, long com- Three reasons to NAS systems DR readiness monitoring mutes and projects with elusive end dates were all reasons for job dissatisfac- tion. Working at home, the satisfaction in meeting rave “The diversity of the technology I get to work with.” Scale-out “Being allowed to move on with systems deadlines and seeing [projects] 90% of the time.” results, and the ability to “Relaxed environment and work fast without a lot of lots of flexibility.” Hybrid cloud deployments higher ups having to sign off on every move were Three reasons toTale of the tape Sponsor resources all named as reasons to appreciate their current positions. 2 Ellen O’Brien is the rant “No official work-from-home policy.” “Lack of communication between levels of management.” Executive Editor for the SearchStorage.com and “Dealing with people that have SearchCloudStorage.com unreasonable expectations.” websites. 19 STORAGE November 2011
    • NASGet real about the cloud SYSTEM Time is right for SSDs BUYING DECISIONS Salary survey NAS systems DR readiness monitoring Whether you’re dealing with big data issues or just trying to stem the tide of file data, new developments in NAS Scale-out systems Hybrid cloud deploymentsTale of the tape Sponsor resources 21 e systems and a wide range of products put them center stage as attractive alternatives. BY JACOB NORBEL GSOEDL XPONENTIAL GROWTH OF unstructured data continues to spur file storage growth and network-attached storage (NAS) deployments. According to a research study done by Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), one-fifth of users report NAS capacity growth of more than 50% per year, and 54% of organizations with NAS installations said their storage capacity is growing by at least 20% per year. Most companies opt for NAS storage rather than file shares on servers because of the reliability, perform- STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE ance, scalability and storage management advantages of NAS, as well as features such as replication, snapshotting, thin provisioning and efficient cloning. Available as gateways to front-end block-based storage and as complete systems with their own storage, NAS systems are now used by companies ranging from very small outfits to large enterprises. NAS MARKET SEGMENTATION At the low end of the NAS spectrum are systems for home users. Priced as low as $100, they may come with two or four drives with an option for RAIDGet real about 0/1, and include features such as a single gigabit Ethernet port, web-based the cloud administration, the ability to create users and file shares, support for basic quotas for file shares and a backup application. With modest performance Time is right and no ability to scale, they’re intended for “prosumer” users and the small for SSDs office/home office (SOHO) market. Examples of these entry-level NAS sys- tems are D-Link ShareCenter, EMC’s Iomega StorCenter, Netgear Stora and Salary survey Seagate BlackArmor families. Low-end to midrange NAS appliances that are usually found in smaller organizations are the next level up. Capacities can range from a few terabytes NAS systems to more than 100 TB, with some supporting SAS in addition to SATA drives. These systems usually offer some high-end protocols and features such DR readiness as various RAID levels, Microsoft Active Directory (AD) support, snapshots, monitoring replication and a dedicated backup interface. Appropriately sized with multicore CPUs, sufficient memory, SAS drive options and multiple gigabit ports, they deliver decent performance. Usually priced under $25,000, Scale-out systems they’re intended for small offices and remote offices of larger organizations with limited IT staffs and budgets. Usability and support options are key requirements in this segment. The various Microsoft Windows Storage Hybrid cloud Server-based NAS offerings, Netgear ReadyNAS and Nexsan E5000 families, deployments and Overland Storage SnapServer family are examples of systems in this NAS segment. At the higher end of the spectrum NetApp, with its FAS2000Tale of the tape family, is also targeting this space. “The focus of low-end to midrange NAS systems is to combine ease of use with affordability and pertinent NAS features, such as AD integration, Sponsor resources replication and snapshots,” said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at Stillwater, Minn.-based StorageIO Group. Moving farther up the ladder are NAS systems for small- and medium- sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises. This segment has been dominated by EMC and NetApp, with BlueArc (now part of Hitachi Data Systems) and 22 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE NAS system segments Home/ Midrange Enterprise Scale-out SOHO NAS NAS scale-up NASGet real about NAS the cloud Performance Modest Adequate Usually opti- High number mized for a of I/Os Time is right high number and high for SSDs of I/Os throughput Scalability Not Very limited Scales Very good; Salary survey available vertically proportion- by adding ally scales NAS systems spindles performance and capacity by adding DR readiness nodes monitoring Redundancy RAID 1 and Critical No single No single sometimes components points points Scale-out systems RAID 5 are redun- of failure; of failure; dant; dual- dual- resilient controller controller to multiple Hybrid cloud options architecture failures deployments for high for high at one time availability availabilityTale of the tape Features Very Provides Most Lagging limited essential complete enterprise Sponsor features feature scale-up resources set NAS systems Cost Very low Very High High affordable 23 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE emerging scale-out NAS vendors on their heels. “In enterprise deals you always see NetApp or EMC, or both, and sometimes some of the other players,” Schulz said. EMC’s acquisition of Isilon Systems and NetApp’s support of scale-out deployments in Data Ontap 8 help tilt the odds toward EMC and NetApp. High performance, support for hun- “In enterprise deals dreds of terabytes up to petabytes of capacity, high availability (HA), you always see enterprise-level support and an NetApp or EMC, or ever-growing list of NAS features are characteristic of this product class. both, and sometimesGet real about Enterprise NAS systems are pushing some of the other the cloud the feature envelope in a seemingly players.” continuous attempt to expand feature —GREG SCHULZ, founder and Time is right requirements. For instance, support senior analyst, StorageIO Group for SSDs for both block- and file-based proto- cols, the ability to scale horizontally and deduplication are changing from nice-to-haves to must-haves. Enterprise NAS systems are usually optimized Salary survey for traditional corporate apps, that is, to excel in serving a large number of small files and to display good performance with back-office apps such as NAS systems Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange and SQL Server; but they’re usually not the first choice for applications that push throughput limits. Certain applications and industries—such as the media/entertainment DR readiness monitoring industry and gas/oil exploration, where very large files rather than a lot of smaller files prevail—require very high throughput and massive scalability. This has been the sweet spot of scale-out and high-performance NAS Scale-out systems systems, such as EMC Isilon, Hewlett-Packard (HP) StorageWorks X9000 Network Storage Systems, IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) and Panasas. Hybrid cloud deployments NAS FEATURES IN DEPTHTale of the tape Regardless of your company size or file-storage needs, it’s essential to consider the key NAS attributes and features to ensure you’ll arrive at a buying decision you won’t regret later. These are the key areas to look at Sponsor resources when evaluating NAS systems: • Dual controller vs. scale-out NAS architecture • Storage efficiency • Unified storage • Virtualization 24 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE DUAL CONTROLLER VS. SCALE-OUT NAS ARCHITECTURE Fully redundant dual-controller NAS systems have dominated the enterprise space since they first appeared on the market in the early 1990s. They scale vertically by adding disk spindles, and all components are tightly coupled and share a common pool of resources. Once the performance limit is reached, the only scaling option is to add additional NAS systems that operate independently of each other. Because they scale by adding spindles, they perform well with workloads that primarily consist of random access of small files, which represents the prevailing workload in enterprise data centers.Get real about the cloud Conversely, scale-out NAS consists For the most part, of loosely coupled processing nodes, starting with as few as two, that oper- a scale-out NAS Time is right ate in parallel and scale horizontally by approach eliminates for SSDs adding additional nodes. Even though the need for expen- the degree of parallelism among scale-out systems varies, in general, sive forklift upgrades Salary survey processing nodes work in concert to to replace existing deliver files. Each time a node is added, systems; instead, NAS systems performance of the overall system increases proportionally. For the most it makes it possible DR readiness part, a scale-out NAS approach elimi- for the existing nates the need for expensive forklift monitoring single NAS system upgrades to replace existing systems; instead, it makes it possible for the to expand to multiple Scale-out systems existing single NAS system to expand petabytes. to multiple petabytes. The benefits of scale-out NAS are pretty compelling: improved performance of both I/O and Hybrid cloud throughput, improved scalability, cost reduction, simplified management deployments by only having to manage a single large system and elevated high avail- ability. “We predict that by 2015, 80% of all storage systems [NAS and blockTale of the tape based] will be based on scale-out designs,” said Terri McClure, a senior analyst at ESG. The ability to support scale-out deployments is increasingly becoming a Sponsor resources requirement for enterprise NAS systems, and traditional scale-up systems will be gradually relegated to the SMB space. But even in the SMB space they’ll face the scale-out threat, especially from NetApp with its scale-out deployment support in Data Ontap 8. Perhaps the strongest indicator we’ve reached a scale-out inflection point is that the leading NAS vendors have 25 STORAGE November 2011
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    • STORAGE The state of NFSGet real about the cloud Time is right for SSDs Salary survey NAS systems DR readiness t THE NETWORK FILE SYSTEM (NFS) protocol was originally developed by Sun Microsystems and quickly evolved to the standard on Unix- and Linux-based operating systems. Supported by most NAS systems in addition to Server Message Block/Common Internet File System (SMB/CIFS, used with Microsoft Windows systems), it’s becoming even more relevant as a result of sev- eral recent developments. Currently, NFS Version 3 is prevalent and used by most companies. “Very few of our cus- tomers use NFS Version 4 at this point,” said Drew Schlussel, EMC’s director of product management for VNX. NFSv4 has been available for several years and stands out for its advanced security features and better perform- ance. NFSv4.1, which was ratified in 2010, supports clustered systems and “We’re seeing NFS becoming more popular for VMware rather than going with block-based storage [iSCSI/ monitoring the ability to provide parallel access Fibre Channel].” to files distributed across multiple —DREW SCHLUSSEL, director of nodes via the parallel NFS (pNFS) product management for VNX, EMC Scale-out systems extension. As scale-out NAS architec- tures move into the mainstream, NFSv4.1’s support of pNFS will likely spur adoption. VMware’s NFS storage support and enhancements Hybrid cloud deployments are further popularizing NFS. “We’re seeing NFS becoming more popular for VMware rather than going with block-based storage [iSCSI/Fibre Channel],” Schlussel said.Tale of the tape Sponsor resources all signed up to the scale-out paradigm: Dell through its acquisition of Exanet and having released initial gateway products based on Exanet (the NX3500, a NAS gateway for the PowerVault iSCSI arrays; and the NX7500, a NAS gateway for the EqualLogic array family); EMC by acquiring Isilon; HP with StorageWorks X9000; IBM with SONAS; and NetApp. 27 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE STORAGE EFFICIENCY Features and capabilities that allow you to store more data on physical disks should be a central piece of any storage array evaluation. The cost savings of having to buy less physical storage can be significant and can easily offset higher acquisition costs. In other words, a more expensive NAS may cost you less over its lifetime than a less-expensive one with inferior storage efficiency features, such as thin provisioning, efficient snapshots, thin clones, deduplication and compression. Implementation and efficacy of these features vary among NAS products. One area of differentiation is the granularity at which these features operate. In the majority of NAS systems, they’re applied to volumes, but in some they canGet real about be applied to directories or even files. “The EMC Isilon supports snapshots, the cloud replication and quotas at a file and directory level,” said Sam Grocott, vice president of marketing at EMC Isilon. Time is right The following NAS storage efficiency features should be considered to for SSDs minimize physical storage requirements. Thin provisioning. The ability to allocate more storage than is physically Salary survey available is pertinent to achieving high storage utilization. This is especially important in systems that support both file- and block-based protocols, where thin provisioning enables volumes and NAS pools to be sized inde- NAS systems pendently of actual physical storage, and where physical storage is assigned from a common storage pool on an as-needed basis. Without thin provi- DR readiness sioning, sufficient physical storage has to be allocated to each volume monitoring and storage pool ahead of time. In systems that support thin provisioning, physical storage is allocated dynamically when needed. Scale-out Efficient snapshots. Snapshots in NAS systems are invaluable for data systems protection. They’re scheduled to be taken periodically and can optionally be replicated to other NAS systems for disaster recovery (DR) or other data Hybrid cloud protection purposes. Supported by most contemporary NAS systems, effi- deployments cient snapshots copy data changes and use a system of pointers to refer- ence the initial full snapshot. Efficient snapshots not only save valuable disk space, but also reduce the time it takes to complete them, minimizingTale of the tape the performance impact while snapshots are taken. Thin clones. Relevant in NAS systems that support block-based protocols, Sponsor resources thin clones require little to no storage on creation. Similar to efficient snap- shots, thinly cloned volumes refer to the original volume via pointers. Only data on the cloned volume that changes needs to be stored. Pioneered by NetApp with FlexClone, thin clones are now supported by a growing list of NAS vendors. 28 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Deduplication and compression. Standard in backup and archival prod- ucts, data deduplication and compression are becoming more prevalent on primary storage systems. While support for deduplication in NAS storage is still sparse, it can be implemented as a post-process scheduled task or in real-time. For instance, deduplication in NetApp filers can be enabled on a per-volume basis and is performed by a scheduled process that deduplicates 4 KB blocks of data, usually during off hours. On the contrary, the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage 7000 series performs deduplication in real-time while data is written to disk. Automated storage tiering. The ability to keep active data on fast,Get real about the cloud expensive storage and move inactive data to less-expensive slower tiers helps to limit the amount of expensive tier-1 storage needed Time is right without significantly impacting The ability to keep for SSDs performance. For any NAS system active data on fast, you consider, data movement expensive storage and Salary survey between the different tiers (solid- state storage, fast SAS tiers and move inactive data to NAS systems slower, high-capacity SATA tiers) less-expensive slower should be automatic with block- tiers helps to limit the or byte-level granularity rather DR readiness than the volume-level granularity amount of expensive monitoring at which data is moved. The more tier-1 storage needed granular, the better. Some systems, without significantly Scale-out like EMC’s Fully Automated Storage systems Tiering (FAST), depend on policies impacting performance. that define when data should be Hybrid cloud moved; others, like NetApp and Oracle (in the Sun ZFS Storage 7000 series), deployments advocate that the storage system should be smart enough to automatical- ly keep data on the appropriate tier without requiring user-defined policies.Tale of the tape UNIFIED STORAGE Sponsor With the two leading NAS vendors—EMC in its VNX array family and NetApp resources in all its systems—supporting file-system protocols (NFS and CIFS) and block-based protocols (Fibre Channel and iSCSI) in a single storage array, the unified storage approach is gaining popularity. This is especially true for SMB companies looking for a single storage system that meets all their 29 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE storage needs: deliver file shares and services, but also serve as storage for virtualized servers and back-office applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint and databases. “Small and midsize companies are usually looking for a jack-of-all- “Small and midsize trades storage system that’s easy to companies are manage and affordable,” said Drew usually looking for Schlussel, EMC’s director of product management for VNX. a jack-of-all-trades storage systemGet real about the cloud STORAGE AND VIRTUALIZATION that’s easy to man- With the accelerated deployment of age and affordable.” virtualized servers, integration with —DREW SCHLUSSEL, director of product Time is right for SSDs management for VNX, EMC and features that aid virtualized com- puting infrastructures are becoming Salary survey important storage evaluation criteria. It starts with determining how quickly and efficiently volumes can be assigned to virtual machines (VM). “With FlexClone, we can rapidly clone VMware VMDK images with the click of a NAS systems button,” said Jason Blosil, NetApp’s product marketing manager. The simplicity of deploying virtualized servers whose VM images are DR readiness stored on a single NAS and, if created as thin clones, share many of the monitoring same physical storage blocks, can easily result in performance problems. Identifying the mechanisms a NAS system has in place to support the unique requirements of virtualized servers is crucial to preventing un- Scale-out systems pleasant performance surprises as the number of VMs increases. Some vendors use a combination of solid-state storage and automated storage tiering via policies or cache to keep hotspots in the fastest storage tier. Hybrid cloud VMware has been providing the vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) deployments to offload storage and associated management functions from vSphere to storage systems, but prior to vSphere 5, support was mostly limited toTale of the tape block-based storage. In vSphere 5, VAAI has been enhanced to better sup- port NFS and network-attached storage for tasks like thin provisioning and snapshots. VAAI support helps remove storage bottlenecks by offloading Sponsor resources resources of intense storage and management tasks from the hypervisor to the storage system. Finally, hypervisor plug-ins for VMware vCenter and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) that provide storage management 30 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE and reporting from within hypervisor consoles enable IT generalists and server administrators to perform storage tasks. EVOLVING NAS SYSTEMS Because of their many merits, NAS systems, in the form of gateways to block-based storage and standalone systems with their own storage, have become an essential component of today’s data centers. With increased support for scale-out architectures, block-based protocols along with file- system protocols, tight integration with virtualized environments and storageGet real about clouds, and an expanding list of features, NAS system are moving closer to the cloud becoming a storage system nirvana: a single, fast and massively scalable storage system for all applications and data. 2 Time is right for SSDs Jacob Norbel Gsoedl is a freelance writer and a corporate director for business systems. He can be reached at jgsoedl@yahoo.com. Salary survey NAS systems DR readiness monitoring Scale-out systems Hybrid cloud deploymentsTale of the tape Sponsor resources 31 STORAGE November 2011
    • Up to 85% of computing capacity sits idle in distributed environments. A smarter planet needs smarter infrastructure. Let’s build a smarter planet. ibm.com/dynamicIBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.
    • readiness monitoring applications DR Planning, developing and implementing disaster recovery plans can be complex and time-consuming, but a new class of apps canGet real about the cloud help you determine if your DR plans are properly synchronized with your IT operations. BY PAUL KIRVAN Time is right for SSDs DISASTER RECOVERY (DR) planning is typically a significant undertaking that requires many work hours and often a considerable budget. But creating a plan is only part of Salary survey the process; the plan must be tested frequently enough to ensure it will work as expected. But testing is a time-consuming and often disruptive activity, so it’s often not done as regularly as it should be. A new category of applications—DR readiness NAS systems monitoring apps—can facilitate the testing process. DR readiness monitoring Scale-out systems Hybrid cloud deploymentsTale of the tape Sponsor resources 33 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE DR monitoring applications address one of the key causes of recovery failures: configuration drift. Configuration drift occurs when storage and other IT gear is upgraded or replaced, but the DR documentation and pro- cedures aren’t updated to accommodate those changes. With the DR docs out of synch with the real-world setup, recovery efforts are more likely to fail. The purpose of monitoring applications is to find those discrepancies and improve the odds of a successful test or actual recovery. WHAT SHOULD BE MONITORED?Get real about From a disaster recovery perspective, the logical first point of focus would the cloud be protecting critical data. This means backing up data on-site and off-site using a variety of methods, including disk-to-disk (D2D) and disk-to-tape Time is right (D2T) backup; data mirroring to an off-site location or cloud service; and for SSDs shipping backup tapes to an off-site storage facility. The next focal point would be hard- ware and applications. You want to Salary survey ensure these assets are regularly Successful disaster monitored for proper performance. recovery plans are NAS systems After that, but not necessarily in order worthless unless of relevance, are network-based assets, such as local-area networks they’re regularly DR readiness monitoring (LANs); wide-area networks (WANs); exercised to ensure storage-area networks (SANs); premises- based systems such as routers and everything that’s Scale-out systems switches; and voice systems such as critical to the PBX systems and Voice over IP (VoIP) business is being systems. Hybrid cloud In a typical data center, operational addressed. deployments assets are linked together in a variety of ways, mostly via networking assets. The links and relationships amongTale of the tape the various resources may be complex, making it even more difficult to detect configuration drift or other discrepancies. Successful disaster recovery plans are worthless unless they’re regularly Sponsor resources exercised to ensure everything that’s critical to the business is being addressed. But the majority of organizations typically exercise their DR plans only once a year, or even less frequently. To maintain a careful vigil over your critical data protection activities, as well as systems, applications and networks, you’ll need timely performance 34 STORAGE November 2011
    • What to ask before buying a DR monitoring application Issue Questions to ask/Key points to consider General • What do you want to monitor? • What information do you want to collect? Is it for the entire IT environment (on-site and off-site) or just parts? • Who will use the monitoring systems? • Will the system work in a virtualized environment? • Is output only data or data analyzed against metrics? • Can system find dependencies and other relationships, single points of failure and any other weaknesses before mapping them to your requirements? Existing IT • Define a “normal” operating environment. environment • Do you want software to look for all possible risks? • Is just flagging unknowns enough? • How will the monitoring tool integrate with daily operations? • What data and parameters are essential for optimal knowledge of the backup environment?Get real about the cloud • Does the tool replace or complement existing monitoring apps? • Can existing monitoring systems be adapted, modified or upgraded to support DR monitoring capabilities? Time is right Integration • What results are required to support the DR plan? for SSDs into DR plans • Define the data you’ll need prior to conducting an exercise. • Can the DR monitoring system replace DR exercising? How will it supplement exercises? Salary survey • Do overall backup strategies need to be changed with the introduction of DR monitoring tools? NAS systems Cloud-based • If you use cloud storage services, how should the DR monitoring system technologies integrate with them? • Will the system operate outside data center boundaries? Will it be used to DR readiness monitor external applications? monitoring • Will DR monitoring tools enhance the value of cloud services? Network • Do DR monitoring systems have to examine network infrastructures or are current systems adequate? Scale-out • Will the system have to monitor VoIP systems or older PBX systems? systems • Will the monitoring system be used for unified communications, call center environments or audio/videoconferencing systems? • Will the monitoring tool provide performance and DR data across multiple Hybrid cloud communications environments? deployments IT management • Will the DR monitoring tool be used as part of a normal change management process?Tale of the tape • Are there any limitations related to the number and type of systems that can be analyzed by the DR monitoring tool? • Conduct a risk analysis of what might happen if no DR monitoring applications Sponsor were being used. resources • Determine the return on investment of a DR monitoring application. Outsourcing • If you use a third-party service provider (e.g., hot site firm, managed services and managed vendor, outsourced data center) does the service offer DR monitoring as a services value-added extra or fee-based service? 35 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE data from all critical assets. If you know the health of your IT infrastructure in real-time, you’ll be better prepared to respond quickly and effectively when something disrupts operations. EXISTING PERFORMANCE MONITORING SYSTEMS If your organization is in the medium- to large-scale range, chances are you have already invested in a variety of performance monitoring tools. You may have applications that scan only one system and others that may monitor a broad range of activities,Get real about such as network performance or Even more important the cloud information security monitors. But if you add disaster recovery is the need for per- Time is right on top of your existing monitoring formance data to be for SSDs activities, you’ll have to determine if the existing performance monitors optimized for DR plan Salary survey can integrate with the DR plans. Even requirements, such more important is the need for per- formance data to be optimized for DR as validating that NAS systems plan requirements, such as validating data replication that data replication activities are activities are being being completed as planned. And DR readiness monitoring what if you have hundreds or thou- completed as sands of applications distributed planned. everywhere? How can you determine Scale-out systems that everything is performing normally? If a critical system begins to mal- function, it needs to be brought to your attention as quickly as possible. Hybrid cloud deployments DR MONITORING SYSTEMS EXPLAINED A relatively new category of software products has emerged that can pro-Tale of the tape vide actionable performance data that can be synchronized with DR plans. According to Jon Toigo, CEO at Toigo Partners International, there are three different types of disaster recovery monitoring tools. “There are software Sponsor resources products that store information about your plan and create the plan docu- ments. Next are tools that set up scenarios to help you fail over from one set of technology to another set, while providing data replication services. And third, there are passive tools that monitor the data protection processes.” We’ll focus on the third type of DR monitoring tools. 36 STORAGE November 2011
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    • STORAGE As a storage manager, your primary concern is likely data protection, so you’ll want something that monitors all protection-related activities, as described earlier. You may assume that normal due diligence activities would be sufficient and another specialized system wouldn’t be necessary. “Despite your due diligence and efforts to build a high-availability data replica, you may still not have an exact duplicate of your production envi- ronment,” said Kathleen Lucey, FBCI, president of Montague Risk Manage- ment, vice president of the Business Continuity Institute’s (BCI) USA Chapter and vice chairperson of the BCI Global Membership Council. “There could conceivably be undetected incompatibilities among some components. IfGet real about incompatibilities do exist, you may not know about them until you switch the cloud to the backup site and things don’t work.” That same kind of attention must Time is right for SSDs be paid to critical IT operational “Aside from activities such as change manage- ment and configuration management. detecting operating Salary survey “Are today’s practices in service weaknesses, the management and change manage- ment necessary to ensure the in- monitoring product NAS systems tegrity of DR capabilities and plan should be able to documentation?” asked Douglas flag all changes, Weldon, FBCI, an IT executive with DR readiness monitoring a major financial services firm and regardless of size. president of the BCI’s USA Chapter. Being an automated “The answer is yes, these practices Scale-out systems are indeed necessary, but additional product, it can also tools are needed to fill in the gaps of inspect the IT envi- on-going monitoring.” Hybrid cloud “Aside from detecting operating ronment faster than deployments weaknesses, the monitoring product an individual.” should be able to flag all changes, —HARVEY BETAN, MBCI,Tale of the tape regardless of size,” said Harvey Betan, president, H. Betan Inc. MBCI and president of H. Betan Inc., a New York City-based business continuity consultancy. “Being an automated Sponsor resources product, it can also inspect the IT environment faster than an individual.” In an ideal world, data center managers have a single interface that links all monitoring systems and provides a concise, integrated dashboard of all infrastructure performance. Reports on disaster recovery perform- ance metrics would be one of the outputs. 38 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Disaster recovery monitoring systems perform four primary functions: 1. Data capture and discovery 2. Data compilation 3. Data analysis using predefined configuration data and performance metrics 4. Data presentation DR monitoring systems typically connect to their intended systems via internal (e.g., LANs) and external networks (e.g., the Internet). Systems “sniff” for specific activities as definedGet real about the cloud in their logic by sending out specially These products designed packets to look for specific activities. collect information Time is right Data captured during the discovery on applications, for SSDs process is analyzed according to predefined parameters. “These prod- systems, hardware Salary survey ucts collect information on applications, configurations, links systems, hardware configurations, between systems, links between systems, etc., to pro- NAS systems duce a map of the IT infrastructure etc., to produce and the linkages,” Toigo Partners’ Toigo a map of the IT said. “They can also be integrated with DR readiness monitoring configuration management database infrastructure [CMDB] software for easy reference.” and the linkages. The CMDB stores data about IT infra- —JON TOIGO, CEO, Toigo Partners International Scale-out systems structure assets, relationships and configurations. But since it doesn’t have analytic capabilities, it’s difficult to effectively use that data to protect data and ensure business continuity. Hybrid cloud deployments SOME EXAMPLES OF DR MONITORING SYSTEMSTale of the tape Aptare Inc. StorageConsole 8 Fabric Manager. StorageConsole 8 is a monitoring system that addresses data storage; it’s designed to provide greater visibility and management capabilities into SANs. It’s part of an Sponsor resources Aptare portfolio that also includes Backup Manager, Capacity Manager, Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager. The SAN mapping capability gives administrators a view of the SAN topology from server to fabric to storage systems. A change management feature performs a dependency analysis based on proposed changes to a SAN. 39 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE BMC Software Inc. Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping. The system features a library of predefined product configurations (32,000- plus, updated monthly); reference data for hardware power consumption and heat dissipation, and software end-of-life dates; as well as automated diagnostics that identify the location and cause of discovery issues. Soft- ware doesn’t have to be installed on discovered devices. Continuity Software RecoverGuard. The latest version of this product, RecoverGuard 4.0, leverages data contained in the CMDB by scanning the infrastructure, performing analyses of the information it collects, and identi- fying issues that could impact availability, recoverability or data protection.Get real about the cloud RecoverGuard’s knowledge base contains more than 2,000 gap signatures and hundreds of potential data protection gaps. Time is right Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co.’s Discovery and Dependency Mapping for SSDs Advanced Edition (DDMA). This system automates discovery and depend- ency mapping of services, applications and underlying infrastructure. Mapping helps facilitate failure impact analyses, which minimize downtime. Salary survey Improved visibility into the existing IT infrastructure helps reduce opera- tional expense, defers capital expense and improves business uptime. Ac- NAS systems cording to HP, 80% of all service disruptions are caused by faulty changes. This product can provide visibility for improved change management. DR readiness VMware Inc.’s vCenter Application Discovery Manager. VMware’s monitoring product provides continuous discovery and mapping of applications, their dependencies and configurations. The system provides real-time visibility into the data center from an application standpoint. VMware support Scale-out systems enables discovery of application services and configurations in virtual environments, and complements VMware vCenter Server by mapping the physical to virtual dependencies. Hybrid cloud deployments PRE-PURCHASE PLANNING FOR DR MONITORING SYSTEMSTale of the tape As with any system acquisition, successfully implementing a DR monitoring application takes a fair amount of planning. Perhaps the most important Sponsor part of the process is determining specific needs and what you hope to resources accomplish with a product. For more tips about evaluating and buying a DR monitoring app, see the chart entitled “What to ask before buying a DR monitoring application.” “Do the basics: Make sure the product works and works on your configu- ration,” Montague Risk Management’s Lucey recommended. “Use change 40 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE control and the monitoring tool to ensure that all production changes are also concurrently applied to backup configurations.” Betan from H. Betan agreed and added, “The product should also not use too many resources that could slow down normal processing. Be sure to test the system thoroughly before it enters production.” NEW TOOLS FOR AN OLD PROBLEM To ensure your disaster recovery efforts are performing optimally, DR mon- itoring tools can help by proactively spotting potential problems beforeGet real about they occur. “A DR monitoring system can help users achieve several key the cloud goals—they need to be able to recover and restore their data, re-host the applications and reconnect their users,” Toigo Partners’ Toigo said. Added Time is right executive Weldon: “These systems are at an early level of maturity, and for SSDs since each IT environment will be different, remember that one size will not fit all.” Salary survey By identifying potential threats in real-time, DR monitoring tools can enhance your ability to respond to and recover from emergencies, thus providing a higher level of disaster recovery and overall preparedness. 2 NAS systems Paul Kirvan is an independent consultant/IT auditor and technical writer/editor/ educator with more than 22 years of experience in business continuity and disaster DR readiness recovery. monitoring Scale-out systems Hybrid cloud deploymentsTale of the tape Sponsor resources 41 STORAGE November 2011
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    • hot spots | terri mcclure Who really needs scale-out systems? b Industries that once operated in traditional paper-based models are finding themselves overwhelmed by their digital data stores. But scale-out NAS can provide high-performance application support. EFORE NOW, you might not have considered your IT shop as one that needs aGet real about scale-out system. But scale-out systems—which started out in the network- the cloud attached storage (NAS) space because some industries rely on very large files that require a lot of bandwidth to meet performance requirements— Time is right have far-reaching implications for a varied number of environments today. for SSDs For instance, several major industries that once operated in traditional paper- or microfilm-based modes are finding that their digital data stores are threatening to overwhelm them. These are attractive vertical markets Salary survey for scale-out NAS vendors that can provide high-performance application support. NAS systems VERTICAL AFFINITY FOR SCALE-OUT NAS DR readiness monitoring Price and multi-user performance (file ops/sec) Financial HPC Workloads Services (Universities, Scale-out systems R & D) Biotech, Bioinformatics Manufacturing General Purpose, and Design Hybrid cloud deployments Enterprise IT Media and Entertainment Oil and Gas Web-Based Applications and Scale-upTale of the tape Services Consumer and Sponsor Prosumer resources Scale-out Capacity and bandwidth-intensive performance (MBps) Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2011 43 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE If we look at the throughput vs. I/O axis model in the “Vertical affinity for scale-out NAS” graphic, these industries have many applications that require the very high throughput the parallel data services found in many scale-out NAS systems (and coming next year with pNFS) can deliver, ex- ceeding the MB per second capabilities of traditional scale-up NAS systems. As recently as five years ago, this chart would have looked very different. Many of the workloads in the upper right would have been crowded into the left-hand side of the chart. But advances in processor technology—such as multicore processing and much faster chip sets—and video, graphics and design software—such as 3-D CAD, 4-D medical imaging and high-definitionGet real about TV, to name just a few—have created new types of workloads that demand the cloud a very different performance profile. They create huge files and multithread- ed requests that a single- or dual-processor scale-up system wouldn’t Time is right be able to service in a timely manner, causing production to slow or the for SSDs system to time out waiting for the request. Let’s take a deeper dive into a few verticals to illustrate my point. Salary survey Financial services. These users, who are accustomed to managing extremely large volumes of transactional information, are also now heavy users of high-performance parallel NAS systems file systems for efforts such as market-performance forecasting Financial services DR readiness and business intelligence. These ef- users in particular monitoring forts involve files that aren’t just big, they’re also long running, compute- look for scale-out Scale-out intensive, and require a high level of architectures that systems data protection and immediate data remove data inte- availability. Financial services users Hybrid cloud in particular look for scale-out archi- gration bottlenecks. deployments tectures that remove data integration bottlenecks. Data integration is a core task in financial services IT. For these users, an ideal NAS solution is one that performs faster as the number ofTale of the tape nodes increases. Life sciences. Not surprisingly, organizations engaged in health-related Sponsor resources scientific discovery are actively interested in parallel file system solutions offering high-bandwidth data transfer and massive scalability. At these organizations, collaboration at an intensive level is typically evident. For example, the IT team may need to find ways to enable sharing of very large gene-sequencing files or proteomic data across thousands of researchers. 44 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE To be successful, these companies must accelerate their discovery processes; the faster they develop a new drug, the faster it can be tested and approved for use in real-world medical and scientific applications. One IT-centric way for such organizations to accelerate a drug discovery process is to use a high-performance parallel file system infrastructure that never requires disruptive forklift upgrades. Manufacturing and design. High-tech manufacturers, aerospace com- panies, nano-electronics startups, CAD/CAM design firms and many others also need tremendous amounts of storage. And they’re all looking for ways to optimize data management. Users in these industries need fault- less capacity expansion to handle digital growth and improve informationGet real about the cloud sharing among engineering teams. Outages are economically damaging in these environments, so users in the manufacturing and design segment seek to deploy file-based storage that offers near-total reliability and easy Time is right for SSDs capacity upgrades on the fly. They look for automation to assist with file- system administration, data movement, replication and migration/tiering. Media and entertainment. The operating model of media and enter- Salary survey tainment organizations has evolved dramatically. In years past, they per- haps produced print magazines that are now available in an “online-only” NAS systems format. Not only does all editorial content need to be quickly available to readers and content generators, but DR readiness all the advertising files do, too. Large Today’s media monitoring video files are also exacerbating the data growth problems at digitally and entertainment Scale-out intensive media and entertainment organizations are companies. systems Today’s media and entertainment generating and organizations are generating and pro- protecting terabytes Hybrid cloud tecting terabytes or petabytes of file deployments data. At some enterprises, much of or petabytes of the data is created at the “edge”—in file data.Tale of the tape remote news bureaus or CGI design studios separated from main data centers. That operational structure brings problems related to data replication for backup and can even impede the Sponsor resources disaster recovery (DR) capability of the infrastructure. Media and entertain- ment organizations are looking at high-performance scale-out NAS solutions to solve a variety of problems; for instance, to improve the performance of a virtual server infrastructure or to ensure that information is instantly and always available to content creators and consumers. 45 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE Oil and gas. Uncovering oil and gas reserves was once a guessing game. Today, it’s a precise, scientific endeavor that relies on digitized data. Three- dimensional visualization to spot possible resources has become an ever- present tool for the industry as fields decline and extraction operations become more complex. IT managers working in the oil and gas vertical market are challenged to find NAS infrastructures that can support the sharing and protection of the huge data sets resulting from oil reserve modeling/simulation work. Without an architecture that can maintain performance as data storage capacity grows, sustaining a competitive edge becomes more difficult, mainly because the “time-to-result” (the extraction of the resource) lengthens. Scale-out NAS is a good solution forGet real about the cloud oil and gas organizations dealing with enormous computational simulations that, in a very direct fashion, hold the key to their competitive success. Traditional high-performance computing/academics and research. Time is right for SSDs Astrophysicists, molecular biologists, chemists, nuclear physicists and even social scientists working in the public sector are heavy generators and consumers of data. For example, at the Large Hadron Collider run by Salary survey CERN, the team in charge of IT was managing 70 PB of storage by mid-2010. Even far smaller research facilities (usually working in cost-constrained NAS systems university settings or commercial labs) rely on high-performance grid computing and parallel file system architectures to support modeling and simulation efforts that could solve real-world problems and answer big DR readiness monitoring questions. Their work requires low-latency network clusters that can handle extremely intensive performance and bandwidth demands. These industries were the first real adopters of scale-out systems Scale-out because they absolutely needed the performance capabilities scale-out systems systems provide in terms of throughput. But a majority of shops should realize the efficiency and operational savings that come with storing Hybrid cloud many petabytes of data within a single namespace. That’s why scale-out deployments systems are finding a home in cloud infrastructures, allowing companies like Gluster (recently acquired by Red Hat)—which offers a scale-out fileTale of the tape system that runs on commodity hardware and can support block, file and object data—to gain big interest from cloud-based businesses and enter- prises building private clouds. Enterprise Strategy Group forecasts that Sponsor 80% of all external NAS systems revenue will come from scale-out system resources shipments by 2015, and both “big file data” and cloud will be at the core of that growth. 2 Terri McClure is a senior storage analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, Milford, Mass. 46 STORAGE November 2011
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    • read/write | jeff byrne Cloud storage ahead of the pack for hybrid cloud deployments h The idea of turning over storage systems to the cloud hasn’t caught on with enterprises, but hybrid cloud storage products show how to leverage both in-house and off-site storage.Get real about the cloud YBRID CLOUDS HAVE been getting more than their fair share of attention, fueled Time is right by recent announcements by VMware and other big players. Hybrid clouds for SSDs bring together public off-premises clouds and on-premises clouds (which today may be nothing more than traditional in-house IT environments) to create a more functional solution. But the secret sauce of a hybrid cloud is Salary survey the connecting technologies that reside in the middle. To effectively bridge off-premises clouds with on-premises computing and storage environ- NAS systems ments, a hybrid cloud solution should provide enterprise-class security, cross-cloud management, workload/data portability and interoperability. Hybrid clouds offer some compelling advantages, and we believe they DR readiness monitoring should be the ultimate “end game” of any organization’s cloud deployment strategy. Though the market is still developing, major hardware and soft- ware vendors are already working to bring hybrid cloud offerings to market. Scale-out systems Interestingly, the hybrid cloud model is probably further along in the data storage market, where suppliers are already building and delivering hybrid- like cloud storage products. Hybrid cloud Most current cloud storage use cases are designed to augment existing deployments storage practices in a company’s data center or private cloud by extending some of those practices into a public cloud. The first wave of products isTale of the tape squarely focused on overcoming challenges that can’t easily be resolved without the help of a cloud. The most widely adopted solutions to date are built on gateways that enable backup and recovery, archiving and disaster Sponsor resources recovery (DR). Other emerging use cases include cloud-enabled primary and near-line storage, and storage configurations that use the cloud to enhance application scalability, availability and/or performance. Let’s take a look at a VMware backup and recovery use case. One of the biggest pain points for VMware administrators today is backup. Given typical 48 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE VMware consolidation ratios in the range of six to 10 virtual machines (VMs) per host, a virtual server administrator must choose a backup approach that successfully protects each VM without impacting application perform- ance. To address this challenge, many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have turned to VMware Data Recovery (VDR), which efficiently backs up VM images to disk by deduplicating data and updating only blocks that have changed since the last backup. Using VDR to streamline VMware backup is a great first step, but what happens in the event of a prolonged outage or disaster? Most SMBs can’t afford to set up and maintain a remote physical DR site, but most couldGet real about use the cloud. the cloud TwinStrata Inc.’s CloudArray is a block-based, cloud storage gate- Most SMBs can’t afford Time is right for SSDs way that leverages native iSCSI to set up and maintain and is packaged as either a physi- cal or virtual appliance for VMware a remote physical DR Salary survey vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix site, but most could XenServer environments. VMware Data Recovery sends deduplicated use the cloud. NAS systems backup data to a CloudArray appli- ance, which is stored in thin provisioned virtual volumes. Data is written to DR readiness the CloudArray cache (with the level of caching configurable on a per-volume monitoring basis) and then replicated to cloud storage. At-rest and in-flight encryption ensures that data is secure. CloudArray supports all major public clouds or private clouds. Scale-out systems In the event of a prolonged outage, frequently accessed data is immedi- ately restored from cache, and data in the cloud is replicated back to the CloudArray appliance, either at a VM or file level. Data recovery from the Hybrid cloud cloud can also be automated and orchestrated by employing VMware deployments vCenter Site Recovery Manager. This approach provides rapid data recovery without the burden of supporting a remote site. If you currently use tapeTale of the tape for data archiving, this approach can result in even bigger savings, since you’ll no longer have tape maintenance and logistical costs. Riverbed Technology offers a similar type of cloud storage gateway solu- Sponsor resources tion via its Whitewater appliance, but it’s file based rather than iSCSI based. Whitewater presents itself to popular backup applications as a CIFS or NFS disk. With disk space of 2 TB to 8 TB, Whitewater can cache recent backup data locally for rapid recovery. The appliance takes advantage of Riverbed’s WAN acceleration technology and built-in deduplication to replicate data 49 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE to a public storage cloud, such as Amazon S3, AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service (based on EMC Atmos) or Nirvanix Cloud Storage Network. As with the TwinStrata product, no hardware is needed in the cloud, and data is fully encrypted both in motion and at rest. With TwinStrata CloudArray and Riverbed Whitewater, the cloud becomes another storage tier, providing backup and recovery, archiving or full DR pro- tection. These innovative products take advantage of cloud storage’s greatest strengths: pay-as-you-go economics coupled with scalability and agility. Let’s look at a completely different cloud storage use case, focused on increasing Microsoft SharePoint scalability, availability and performance.Get real about SharePoint is widely used in busi- the cloud nesses of all sizes, but it has some architectural limitations that make With TwinStrata Time is right it less effective as it scales to CloudArray and for SSDs cover more data and more users. In particular, the inefficient stor- Riverbed Whitewater, Salary survey age of objects in Microsoft SQL the cloud becomes Server database tables can lead to performance and data protection another storage tier, NAS systems issues, as well as difficulties in providing backup and implementing high-availability recovery, archiving DR readiness (HA) and DR solutions. monitoring StorSimple Inc.’s SharePoint or full DR protection. Database Optimizer product was developed to address these issues. The product consists of a StorSimple Scale-out systems appliance and Microsoft framework plug-in for SharePoint servers. Rather than storing file objects (BLOBs) in SQL Server, which reduces efficiency and drives up capacity requirements and cost, the SharePoint Database Hybrid cloud Optimizer first deduplicates and compresses the file objects and then uses deployments EBS or RBS BLOB interfaces to store the objects in encrypted form in a public or private cloud. Database sizes are reduced by up to 95%, allowing the BLOBTale of the tape volumes to take advantage of cloud economics. On the other hand, the StorSimple appliance initially stores SharePoint metadata database volumes on built-in solid-state drives (SSDs), and uses Sponsor resources a Weighted Storage Layout (WSL) mechanism to automatically tier content based on usage patterns, moving infrequently accessed metadata volumes to the cloud. StorSimple’s SharePoint approach has several major benefits, including 50 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE dramatically greater scalability and performance, far more efficient use of storage capacity and lower overall costs. And by separating metadata from file objects and streamlining their storage, StorSimple accelerates backups and enables cost-effective HA and DR protection. We believe these three sample products are great examples of the out-of- the-box thinking that characterizes a growing number of emerging, hybrid- like cloud storage offerings. And we anticipate a steady stream of cloud storage innovations coming in the year ahead. 2 Jeff Byrne is a senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group. He can be reachedGet real about at jeff.byrne@tanejagroup.com. the cloud Time is right for SSDs Salary survey NAS systems DR readiness monitoring Scale-out systems Hybrid cloud deploymentsTale of the tape Sponsor resources 51 STORAGE November 2011
    • snapshot Tape still plays a role in the data center LET’S SKIP the “tape is dead” rhetoric and get down to facts: 58% of Storage readers use tape as much or more than they did three years ago and only 16% have ban- ished tape. That’s not to suggest disk isn’t bigger than ever in backup, but it’s not even close to sending tape to the showers for good. Forty-nine percent of respon- dents use disk more in their backups than they did three years ago, while 11% don’t use any disk at all in their backup ops. Regardless of the mix of disk and tape, 80% say that eventually all or some of their backup data winds up on tape. Most firms (60%) will leave backups on disk for 30 days or less before spinning them off to tape. Tape clings to its backup role, but it’s not the only one it’s good at; 37% use tape for non-backup apps, like archival (83%) and nearline storage to augment disk (28%). It doesn’t look like the tables will turn too much for tape next year, as one-third of those surveyed expect to buy some tape gear in the coming year. —Rich CastagnaGet real about the cloud Compared to three years ago, How long does your backup data stay how would you characterize on disk before being spun off to tape? your company’s use of tape? Time is right Longer than 11% for SSDs We use tape more now than 90 days we did three years ago 16% Our use of tape hasn’t changed 60 days to 8% Salary survey 26% much in three years 90 days 26% We still use tape, but less 30 days to 21% NAS systems 32% than we did three years ago 60 days We don’t use any tape in our backup process Less than 60% DR readiness 30 days monitoring 0% 10 20 30 40 50 60 What tape equipment will your company purchase % 80 Scale-out systems within the next 12 months? * 68% We will purchase new tape drives Hybrid cloud deployments 40% We will purchase at least one new tape library 40% We will purchase new robotics or Say all or some of theirTale of the tape other tape library equipment data backed up to disk *Respondents could make multiple choices eventually gets copied to tape. Sponsor resources “ The economics of tape vs. disk still preclude the exclusive use of one technology—rather disk provides a beneficial front-end cache to long-term tape storage.” —Survey respondent 52 STORAGE November 2011
    • STORAGE TechTarget Storage Media Group STORAGE Vice President of Editorial Mark Schlack Editorial Director Rich Castagna Senior Managing Editor Kim Hefner Executive Editor Ellen O’Brien Creative Director Maureen Joyce Contributing Editors Tony Asaro, James Damoulakis, Steve Duplessie, Jacob Gsoedl, W. Curtis Preston COMING IN Executive Editor Ellen O’Brien Senior News Director Dave Raffo Senior News Writer Sonia R. Lelii December Senior Writer Carol Sliwa Hot Storage Technologies: 2012 Senior Managing Editor Kim Hefner Storage mag and SearchStorage.comGet real about Assistant Site Editor Rachel Kossman editors put their heads together and the cloud Editorial Assistant Hillary O’Rourke predict the top new techs that will have the most profound impact on Time is right storage environments over the next Executive Editor Ellen O’Brien for SSDs 12 months. We also grade our choices Assistant Site Editor Rachel Kossman from the previous year. See what storage techs should be on your Salary survey must-have list for 2012. Mobile Backup? NAS systems Senior Site Editor Andrew Burton There’s an App for That Managing Editor Ed Hannan Users might have a significant amount Assistant Site Editor John Hilliard of their firm’s intellectual property on DR readiness Features Writer Todd Erickson monitoring ultra-portable devices. Some vendors offer apps to protect that data and ensure it stays within corporate Scale-out confines. We look at what’s available, systems Senior Site Editor Sue Troy how well it will work and what’s still Assistant Site Editor Francesca Sales needed to protect mobile data. Hybrid cloud deployments Quality Awards VI: Tape Libraries Senior Site Editor Sue Troy Who said tape is dead? Certainly not UK Bureau Chief Antony Adshead the legions of users who value tape’s Assistant Site Editor Francesca SalesTale of the tape economy, portability and usefulness for long-term storage of backup and archive data. Our Quality Awards pro- TechTarget Conferences gram surveys users of midrange and Sponsor resources Director of Editorial Events Lindsay Jeanloz enterprise tape libraries about quality, Editorial Events Associate Jacquelyn Hinds technical support, features and other Storage magazine Subscriptions: key service/reliability considerations. www.SearchStorage.com And don’t miss our monthly columns Storage magazine 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA 02466 and commentary, or the results of editor@storagemagazine.com our Snapshot reader survey. 53 STORAGE November 2011
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