Data storage challenges and introduction to Unified Data Storage

Data Storage Challenges:

Meeting storage challenges requires in depth understanding of the need for more storage, finding out application performance issues and keeping a check on cost and technology. Thus managing traditional storage is a difficult task as they have performance and scalability issues, higher operational costs and complex management. Some of these challenges are:-

A. Massive Data Demand:

An industry survey estimates the digital world to increase by 35 zettabytes by 2020. Well one terabyte is equal to 1024 gigabytes, one petabyte is equal to 1024 terabytes, one exabyte is equal to 1024 petabytes, and one zettabyte is equal to 1024 exabytes (or in shorter terms 1 trillion gigabytes).

B. Performance Barrier:

Thus this rapid growth has caused a parallel increase in the size of databases. Thus their queries require faster response time from the underlying conventional storage. Whether it a social networking site, an enterprise database, a modern web application or a portal, all require faster disk access to read and write data. These are the applications whose performance not only depends on faster CPU cycles but also I/O latency and throughput.

Intel’s co-founder predicted in 1965 to double the processing power every two years is practically happening, thus there is also an immediate need for predictions and more importantly for their practical implementations for storage. With this not happening, these devices are divided into smaller units to cope up with the response time required by heavy applications.

C. Exorbitant costs and power consumption:

With daily increase in the storage demands, IT organizations and data centers are looking for larger storage with affordable cost. Unfortunately, good performance storage come with a huge price tag, maintenance costs and other licensing overheads. Also the other factors that add to costs like cooling equipment, space requirements and man power. According to a report storage consumes approx. 40 percent of any given data-center power.

What Is Unified Storage?

Thus day by day companies look for innovative and efficient storage solutions, one such innovative solution is “Unified Storage”. Unified storage is basically a combination of Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN), also known as network unified storage (NUS). This type of storage system makes it possible to run and handle files and applications from a single device. Its primary benefit is that it reduces hardware costs because it uses a combination of NAS and array of RAID disks in a single device. It supports fibre channel SAN, iSCSI.

Moreover management is quite simple as there is a single point of control instead of distributed or multiple points. This makes deploying of critical applications on a unified storage most convenient option for almost all organizations. For the relief of organizations the initial cost and maintenance of unified storage is the same as that of the conventional storage. Also the stability provided from these storage is more than any other storage. However, for consistent high performance and control dedicated servers are better.

In the next post we will discuss about Oracle Unified Storage and its benefits.

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