Tomorrow, I will be in San Francisco for TechTarget’s Storage Decisions conference. This show does a good job on the editorial side, suggesting timely topics and bringing in folks like Dennis Martin, Mark Staimer, and Jon Toigo. I will have two presentations on data reduction and storage virtualization in the main conference track – both are updated from my New York sessions. Registration is free for qualified end-users, and I urge you to attend.
Reclaim Capacity with Data Reduction for Primary Storage
I have updated the session with additional information on thin provisioning and compression, as well as expanding the slides to reflect many of the questions and comments I received in New York. The end result remains the same: I’m not sold on data reduction for primary storage as a product and recommend tackling data growth if at all possible. If it’s completely impractical to delete data, there are a few products that work well.
Depending on which industry study you read, most companies are wasting anywhere from 30% to 50% of their installed disk capacity, which translates into thousands of dollars spent with no effective return on investment. Storage vendors are beginning to provide tools that can help storage managers make the most of the disk they have installed. For example, data reduction for primary storage borrows data deduplication technology developed for backup and classic compression algorithms to help squeeze the air out of nearline and primary data and reduce its footprint. This session’s topics will include an overview of data reduction technologies and where they will have the greatest impact, what key storage vendors are offering in data reduction and an update on the major players, and the consequences of using primary data dedupe along with dedupe for backups. We’ll also look at the potential for vendor lock-in and consider why we’re reducing data in the first place.
- Introducing data reduction technologies
- Compression: How it works and where it’s found
- Deduplication: From single-instancing to variable block
- Application-specific: Cracking open files
- Overview of data reduction products
- Where to use them
- The capacity conundrum: Store less and reduce utilization
- Ideal applications: Justifying the cost of data reduction
- Side effects: Considering the impact on backup, replication, I/O workload and vendor lock-in
Storage Virtualization: Who’s Doing It and Why
My storage virtualization session has been massively tweaked, including updated information on standalone virtualization products as well as a more in-depth discussion of successful and failed use cases. This session presents the conundrum of why server virtualization has been so successful while storage virtualization has failed for over a decade. I believe this is due to the problems these products try to solve. Consolidation of resources and reduction of administrator effort are noble goals, but not really compelling in the long term. Unless some real is this value can be extracted, storage virtualization will continue to be a failed product.
Storage virtualization has been around for decades and, although research indicates that 70% of companies have already virtualized at least some of their installed block or file storage, most remain unaware of this technology. Grandiose schemes for comprehensive virtual SANs have given way to more practical host- and array-based virtualization technologies, and server virtualization has created a new opportunity to create a pool of storage. This session will look at the current state of storage virtualization, how to quantify its benefits and describe which approaches are best for particular environments, and also cover how storage virtualization compares to private storage clouds.
- Defining storage virtualization: What it is and where to find it
- Abstraction of storage resources
- Tiered storage
- Popular approaches to storage virtualization
- SAN controllers
- File virtualization
- Volume managers
- The pool, the hypervisor and the cloud
- The impact of server virtualization
- Is this a private cloud?
To register for Storage Decisions San Francisco, just go to the TechTarget registration page.
Disclosure: TechTarget pays my expenses to attend and present at Storage Decisions, and has for many years. But they don’t pay me to present and I own the copyright on my session content. Happily, I license it all CC-by-NC-SA so I can give it out freely!