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Storage & Clustering Community Blog

Thin Provisioning - How Symantec can help

Created: 25 Mar 2013 • Updated: 11 Jun 2014
Steve_Grimwood's picture
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Today we recognise the "data explosion" as fact rather than fable  (data explosion - the continued increase in the
amount of digital data created and stored) and is set to continue for the foreseeable future. 
Projected growth rates are inexact and vary between analysts, however all are in agreement that data creation and
retention is on the rise, placing further demand on an already stretched IT storage team.
 
With this in mind most customers I speak with are looking at some form of data/storage optimization. 
Typically the largest part of the IT budget is spent on storage, with CSO’s and CTO being tasked with reducing this.
Solutions available vary from something as simple as  migrating data from tier 1 storage to adopting newer
technologies such as, SSD’s, Thin Provisioning, along with known technologies such as  compression, dedupe,the
list goes on….
 
Today’s blog will be targeting space utilization and more specifically thin provisioning, With this in mind,
clearly the nirvana for most organizations is to get the best utilization from their storage at the best price point.
So what Symantec S/W are we talking about  – Storage Foundation Let’s focus on one of Storage optimization
utilization technologies this offers – Thin Provisioning

What is Thin Provisioning  :
At the highest level a large amount of storage waste is incurred from people provisioning storage but never using it,
thin provisioning basically lets you present storage to a host without exclusively allocating it on the array.

What are the problems of Thin Provisioning ?
Firstly, how do I know when I’m going to run out of space ?
How do I stay thin over time ? (This becomes an issue as once storage is allocated it is difficult to reclaim as the
array doesn’t have this intelligence)

How does Symantec help ?
To fully realise the benefits of Thin provisioning a Thin friendly stack is required, this is provided by SF.
Storage Foundation provides the FS visibility needed by the array in order to reclaim redundant space and return to
the free pool, allowing arrays to stay thin over time, and not losing the benefits of thin provisioning.
The ability to migrate from a fat FileSystem to a thin FS using the ‘smartmove’ utility, and enabling online thin
reclamation with API’s to integrate between the host and the storage hardware.
 
Greater visibility provided by Storage Foundation gives the confidence to use thin provisioning to its full
capability by over allocating storage without the fear of running out of space.
 
Symantec’s unique values are that there is no H/W agenda and we realise no benefit from selling more tin,
we genuinely want customers to achieve space saving benefits, and we enable the same optimization strategy across all OS’s and H/W platforms.
 
Simply is it worth having a further look at what Symantec has to offer ? If you want to use your storage more
effectively and get the full benefits from adopting Thin provisioning, Of course, the answer is Yes !