News
4/1/2011
04:44 PM
Kurt Marko
Kurt Marko
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Data Storage Vs. Information Management

A recent reader response to my State of Storage 2011 report got me thinking about the difference between data and information, or, more generally between technology itself and the ways we creatively use it to solve problems. State of Storage, as these annual reviews are wont to do, focused on trends in storage technology. My correspondent, however, called me for not discussing informati

A recent reader response to my State of Storage 2011 report got me thinking about the difference between data and information, or, more generally between technology itself and the ways we creatively use it to solve problems. State of Storage, as these annual reviews are wont to do, focused on trends in storage technology. My correspondent, however, called me for not discussing information management-one way we apply tech to improve how we do business. "I was underwhelmed with the article in that it only focused on the technology platform components of storage and was silent on how we should organize the data we store," he wrote. "In an old-world analogy, it would be like the Library of Congress worrying about the number of shelves they build and the type of wood to build the shelves."While we always like getting feedback, this is akin to complaining that a Motor Trend Car of the Year report is silent on the topic of alternative fuels and national energy policy: "All you talked about was engines and handling. There was nothing on moving away from petroleum-based vehicles to battery cars and fuel cells." The State of Storage report really was tailored to shelf-builders, not library curators; it's the nature of the beast. Similarly, our upcoming State of the Data Center report will explore PUE, cooling system design and cable management, and not make value judgements about the type of data stored, or applications running on the servers overheating those racks.

Still, our correspondent's larger point is valid: "Prior to buying more shelves, we need to decide what we will store directly ... and how I expect users to find the right information at the right time. Those decisions will drive the platform architecture decisions and make for a more effective solution." Indeed, when faced with increasing demands, IT has a tendency to just add "shelves" (read: disk arrays or servers) rather than addressing the underlying factors fueling the demand. The reason is simple: It's historically been easier (and cheaper) to just throw hardware at the problem rather than peel the onion to examine larger information or application architecture deficiencies.

However, the days of easy technology fixes really are ending. Managing vast pools of data is consuming an increasing share of the IT storage budget and, as my report points out, adding more spindles is unwise. While my recommendations concerned technical ways to make more efficient use of existing capacity, our correspondent highlights another strategy for tackling out-of-control storage demands; information management. You can maximize storage with techs like deduplication, or you can just store less data.

The concept of information lifecycle management (ILM) isn't new, but if you're going broke building new shelves, it's worth a second look as part of an effective enterprise storage strategy. ILM isn't a new topic, yet it has been tried (and often abandoned) by many enterprises over the years, but not because it's a bad idea, but rather because it's hard and doesn't lend itself to simple technological fixes. Products that equated the frequency of data access with information importance were easy for vendors to implement, but woefully incomplete as information management tools. Certainly the technology for categorizing, indexing and archiving data has greatly improved, as evidenced by automatic tiering features mentioned in the State of Storage, but technology is just a tool. ILM is really more about retention standards, archive processes and IT governance. ILM is undoubtedly an important element of an effective enterprise storage strategy and one worthy of its own treatment. I thank our writer for pointing this out and look forward to addressing his concerns in a future report.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4807
Published: 2014-11-22
Sterling Order Management in IBM Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite 9.3.0 before FP8 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption) via a '\0' character.

CVE-2014-6183
Published: 2014-11-22
IBM Security Network Protection 5.1 before 5.1.0.0 FP13, 5.1.1 before 5.1.1.0 FP8, 5.1.2 before 5.1.2.0 FP9, 5.1.2.1 before FP5, 5.2 before 5.2.0.0 FP5, and 5.3 before 5.3.0.0 FP1 on XGS devices allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-5395
Published: 2014-11-21
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Huawei HiLink E3276 and E3236 TCPU before V200R002B470D13SP00C00 and WebUI before V100R007B100D03SP01C03, E5180s-22 before 21.270.21.00.00, and E586Bs-2 before 21.322.10.00.889 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of users ...

CVE-2014-7137
Published: 2014-11-21
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Dolibarr ERP/CRM before 3.6.1 allow remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) contactid parameter in an addcontact action, (2) ligne parameter in a swapstatut action, or (3) project_ref parameter to projet/tasks/contact.php; (4...

CVE-2014-7871
Published: 2014-11-21
SQL injection vulnerability in Open-Xchange (OX) AppSuite before 7.4.2-rev36 and 7.6.x before 7.6.0-rev23 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via a crafted jslob API call.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?