How to Consolidate Data Storage

Excerpted from Global Knowledge White Paper: Storage Consolidation, from EMC Corporation

Storage consolidation is the act or the ability to centralize available storage resources of an organization into a physical or virtual pool of storage resources from where storage can be effectively managed and provisioned to applications across the enterprise on an as-needed basis.

Why Consolidate Storage?

According to industry studies, the average utilization of database and application server storage is between 35 to 50 percent. Evolution in technology and the availability of network-based storage makes it possible for organizations to effectively consolidate their database and application server storage and increase utilization rates by approximately 30 percent.

Problems Addressed by Storage Consolidation

Business Solution: By consolidating storage, organizations can meet the business requirements of containing and reducing storage infrastructure costs. Organizations gain strategic competitive advantage by being able to quickly roll-out new applications and services without the need to build the associated storage infrastructure from scratch.

IT Solution: From a technology perspective, organizations are being challenged to reduce complexity and eliminate vendor lock-down. The right storage platforms enable organizations to deploy self-sustaining architectures to required applications, and, in the event of a failure, recover without impacting the business. These architectures also automate information placement and migration while applications remain online and users continue to transact business as usual.

The net effect of a well-designed storage consolidation model is that productivity improves while costs are reduced. Organizations better leverage storage and employ just-in-time methodology to procure and provision additional assets. Advanced technical strategies can be employed to appropriately protect information without incurring downtime. Customers can implement a tiered storage model and eliminate redundant data to reclaim storage resources and retain an efficient consolidated environment.

How to Effectively Consolidate Storage?—Architectural Considerations

The three high-level categories of storage consolidation include:

Infrastructure Consolidation: This type of consolidation pertains to the centralization and pooling of storage hardware.

Information Consolidation: This type of consolidation pertains to the centralization and minimization of non-unique redundant information and the placement of extracted information on the appropriate tier of storage based on its value to the business.

Operational Consolidation: Operational consolidation deals with the adoption and use of tools, policies, practices, and procedures that help centralize and consolidate storage operations.

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