Monday, 12 December 2011 16:09

PoINT advises adaptation of intelligent storage management to prepare for anticipated hard disk shortages

By Liz Hartney

To alleviate the potential consequences for companies, PoINT Software & Systems GmbH recommends the use of intelligent storage management solutions.

December 12th 2011 - According to news analysis the recent flood disaster in Thailand will cause massive interruptions in the production of hard disk drives until the end of 2012. Industrial organizations are preparing for significant price increases and tense delivery times for hard disks. To alleviate the potential consequences for companies, PoINT Software & Systems GmbH recommends the use of intelligent storage management solutions.

Analysis consistently confirms that up to 80% of data which companies save on their file-servers is inactive data, files which have not been accessed for months or years. Often, due to regulatory compliance, this data cannot be erased. This data grows constantly, and appropriates unnecessary storage capacity on cost intensive hard disk systems.

The Tiered Storage - HSM approach of PoINT Storage Manager allows companies to migrate inactive data and data to be archived into a secondary Storage Tier which uses one or more non hard disk based devices. The usage of LTO 5 tape or optical Blu-ray Disc based storage is ideally suited for this purpose. Single drives, as well as automated Loader and Library devices are all supported, providing solutions to meet all requirements for demand, data volume and retention.

The criteria for the migration of inactive data are specified by Policy settings which are determined by the PoINT Storage Manager administrator. According to specified conditions within these policies (Age, Access, Attribute etc.) inactive data will be automatically migrated from the primary storage to the secondary storage. The software replaces migrated files with links which ensure that the logical path for access to the migrated data remains unchanged in primary storage file system while requiring a minimum amount of primary storage. When a client or applications accesses the migrated data the requested files are read from the secondary storage and are provided to the application. The delivery of these files to the application is provided using a 'Pass Trough' process, avoiding the unwanted restoration of the accessed data at the primary storage. In addition to the 'On-Access' file delivery, policies enable a determined re-migration, if a restore is explicitly required through multiple accesses.

Using LTO 5 tape technology at the secondary storage level is a very interesting approach due to the significant advantage in cost. Each cartridge can contain up to three Terabyte (compacted) of migrated data. Blu-ray Disc based storage, such as a BD library, is an attractive alternative because of the improved Random-Access that this technology provides while also better addressing the demand for long-term archive with 'true Worm' storage technology.

The support of LTO Tape and Blu-ray Disc storage technologies and devices is already integrated into PoINT Storage Manager. The acquisition of expensive add-on modules or products is not necessary. The Windows based software allows easy integration into an existing infrastructure and works in the background to provide effective and efficient usage of primary storage. Expensive new acquisitions of hard disk-drive can be avoided. Transparent data access is provided for clients and applications at the primary storage location, via PoINT Storage Manager and the secondary storage device.

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