The Three Legged Stool of Storage

by CXOtoday Staff    Jan 06, 2010

Vivekanand Venugopal, VP & GM, Hitachi Data Systems, India speaks on why organizations need to focus on the three legs of storage.

Storage is like a three-legged stool. If one leg is broken the entire stool falls over and is useless. If the stool is intact, we take it for granted and we forget about it. However if it is not available, we become uncomfortable and are unable to move on with our other tasks.

Therefore it is neccessary that organisations focus on all three legs of the storage stool to be ahead of the game in their industry or environment.The three legs of the storage stool are

  • Business As Usual (BAU)
  • Optimisation
  • Innovation

Business As Usual: CIOs & IT Directors need to ensure that their day-to-day operations run smoothly, without outage or performance degradation. All of this needs to happen as a matter of course rather than with the intervention of hero systems administrators. BAU should consume an ever decreasing percentage of IT budget and time but tends to dominate spend today typically 60-80 percent of IT spend.

Optimisation: IT departments need to constantly examine and optimise their environments to find efficiencies, improvements and benefits. In many cases, efficiencies are latent in that they have the potential to exist but have not been explored. A good example of this is reviewing storage tiering from a performance, disk geometry, RAID level and thin provisioning perspective. In a recent customer example we had locally, we re-architected their layouts to achieve a 75 percent disk saving this meant that they were able to meet business performance and capacity demands with 338 drives rather than 1,375. This represented massive savings in procurement, administration, floor space and power.

Innovation: CIOs and IT Directors need to give their department a strong mandate to innovate in terms of storage architecture. There are a plethora of new storage technologies in the market some viable, some not depending on the business and application. Technologies such as data deduplication, scalable file services, cloud storage, solid state disk etc all need to be analysed and evaluated in the context of the existing environment. They need disciplined Storage Economics and Storage Strategy concepts applied to them to ensure actual benefits are realised. The hallmark of good storage architecture is the ability to tolerate and embrace changes in technology and business requirements. IT organisations that are able to move quickly to benefit from technology changes provide a superior storage product to their business users this helps drive business innovation, efficiency and profitability.

This tripartite relationship is crucial for companies who are interested in maintaining a competitive advantage over their competitors. The repercussions in neglecting a leg might leave organisations handicapped severely in the future.