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Storage and Availability Management

Ballooning storage costs? , Symantec to the rescue

Created: 10 Mar 2011 • Updated: 11 Jun 2014 • 1 comment
Sanjays's picture
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Ballooning  storage costs? , Symantec to the rescue

Storage requirements in the data centers have been increasing dramatically over the last decade. IDC predicts annual storage system shipments will increase to 76.9 exabytes by 2014, a 49% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). At the same time  data centers are trying to figure out ways to cut costs both in terms of capital expenditure ( Capex ) needs as well as Operating costs ( Opex)  needs. These trends together put a lot of pressure on data center IT organizations , leaving them frustrated trying to figure a way out.

Fortunately, there is a way out: Many studies have shown the storage utilization rate is very low, averaging about 40% (“The Future of Storage Management”, Gartner February 2010). Surveys indicate that 86% of customers who already have thin capable hardware are not leveraging this capability (source: Symantec Operations Readiness Tools website at sort.symantec.com )  and thus forgoing huge savings. This represents a huge opportunity to optimize and cut costs dramatically. Virtualization technologies such as 'Thin Provisioning' can help data center administrators efficiently store data and reduce costs.

What is thin provisioning ?

Thin provisioning is a feature that brings the advantages of just-in-time inventory, pioneered by Japanese Manufacturers in the 1980s, to data centers . It works by reclaiming lost storage and making the storage lean and efficient without affecting performance. The reduction in storage needs comes from reducing upfront over-provisioning and from pooling of storage.

Symantec's thin provisioning solutions help make this process effortless while being non-disruptive. These solutions leverage information from the file system allowing the system to optimize storage above and beyond what pooling affords. These solutions help IT managers manage their thin provisioning efforts through the entire life cycle with solutions that help migrate, maintain and sustain thin provisioning solutions.

Migrating to thin: Veritas Storage Foundation enables non-disruptive migration of data from a thick to a thin array, even across different hardware vendors.  Its  SmartMove feature optimizes storage as it migrates by only moving the blocks that are being used to the thinly provisioned volume.

Staying thin: Veritas Storage Foundation also helps organizations stay thin over time.  Its Thin Reclamation feature  leverages information from the file system  which helps  you to keep your storage optimized and thin by managing it on an ongoing basis. It continuously optimizes storage automatically ensuring that your thin provisioned storage continues to remain thin.

Avoiding oversubscription: When considering implementing thin provisioning, IT managers may be concerned about oversubscription, the case where more storage has been assigned than is available in the storage pool.  Veritas Storage Foundation’s management console, Veritas Operations Manager, provides a dashboard to manage storage and provides alerts to help you have greater visibility into how storage is being used, determine consumption trends, and avoid such a scenario.

For more information about thin provisioning checkout the following resources:

Video:  Leveraging the Power of Thin Provisioning

Video:  Screencast: Improve Thin Provisioning with Automated Thin Reclamation

Article:  Veritas Storage Foundation and Thin Provisioning: Rationale, Configuration and Benefits

Blog:  Thin Provisioning

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kellyl's picture

Japanese manufacturer's didn't pioneer this.  it was taught to them by American at Ford motors , Edward Deming.  The Japanese mastered it.

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