Virtualization Issues

By Elizabeth Millard  |  Posted 2008-04-08 Print this article Print

A look at what's ahead in the near future, and the long-term, when it comes to corralling data with storage technologies--and keeping it safe.

Virtualization Issues

Despite being much discussed, virtualization is still in its infancy, aside from server provisioning, Dayley notes. But the strategy is gaining attention, he says. "It's a key issue, and could affect storage more and more. With provisioning, you could use storage on demand, which is compelling for many companies."

Deduplication will also be a buzzword in the future, Dayley believes. Although only 17 percent of his survey's respondents currently use data deduplication during backup, nearly half of those polled are considering implementing the strategy in the next year.

That makes sense, considering how much needlessly duplicated material is being stored on enterprise media servers, says Dayley. For example, Joe in the accounting department might email a PowerPoint presentation to every executive at headquarters who, in turn, email it to every department in the branch offices. A single presentation can then become duplicated hundreds of times on the company’s servers, and be stored as unique items. When this happens several times a day, media servers get gunked up with unnecessary data, and it doesn't help to ask users to perform their own housekeeping to make sure irrelevant items are cleared from individual desktops, Dayley notes.

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In general, companies should think of backup as composed of a complex set of interrelated and interdependent technologies that include a system of software, client agents, media servers, corporate and storage networks, disk systems, and tape systems, Balaouras says.

Because of the complexity, it can be difficult to troubleshoot when problems occur, particularly when backups are complete with errors, restores fail, or there are performance problems. Added to this strain is the fact that there's more data to back up than ever before, and it's likely that the numbers will only keep shooting higher as data demands increase and downtime decreases.

"At some companies, storage needs are growing by 50 percent per year," Balaouras says. "That can clash with budget constraints, so one of the biggest trends in storage for the coming year will be CIOs talking about their backup pain points, and creating a case for why they need more funding for storage."

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