Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

2/26/2008
12:18 AM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Challenges From The Vendor View

Vendors see the world of technical challenges a bit differently -- and no surprise here: The items they cite often tend to play to the vendor's strengths or ongoing market initiatives. But here are how big thinkers at some storage vendors view the biggest engineering challenges ahead.

Vendors see the world of technical challenges a bit differently -- and no surprise here: The items they cite often tend to play to the vendor's strengths or ongoing market initiatives. But here are how big thinkers at some storage vendors view the biggest engineering challenges ahead.First, they were quick to call attention to the need to "green" up storage, reduce its carbon footprint, etc. Unfortunately, they weren't too specific about how this might happen. Solar storage, anyone? Probably not till there are some major, data-center tax credits.

Greater Network-Centricity

"Eventually most, if not all, data management services currently being implemented through end-point devices (replication, de-dupe/single instance store, snapshot, antivirus scanning, archiving) need to be delivered by the network," said Kirby Wadsworth, VP of global marketing for F5 Networks.

Future data centers will virtually integrate many processing points, in many physical locations, rather than a few. "The network then becomes the only logical enforcement point for data management policies that must, by default, span locations, geographies, specific vendors, and individual technologies," Wadsworth added.

In that same vein, storage networks must develop "autonomic information infrastructures," according to Burt Kalisky, senior director in EMC's CTO office. By those, he means "information systems (computing, storage, and other orchestrated resources) that adapt themselves to meet service-level agreements automatically," among other features.

Converged Fabrics, Networks, And Protocols

This echoes the themes raised by analysts and users in the first half of this exercise. According to Jay Kidd, chief marketing officer for Network Appliance, Ethernet will eventually win out over Fibre Channel as the dominant storage network since it's cheaper to deploy and can be used for both block and file data. Ethernet also is "at the core of a virtual network, better suited to virtual machines and virtualized storage than Fibre Channel," Kidd said. "And the broad support for the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) standard clearly establishes Ethernet as the long-term storage network of choice."

Cisco was quick to pick up on that point. By leveraging FCoE, enterprises will eventually get unified I/O and be able to consolidate the number of server I/O adapters in place, according to Rajeev Bhardwaj, director of product management at Cisco's data center business unit. He also pointed to "services-oriented SANs" that will seamlessly extend intelligent fabric applications to heterogeneous devices anywhere in the network. Intelligent storage networking for virtual servers is a related hurdle that, once cleared, will offer up capacity planning, backup, and disaster recovery for virtual servers, all of which are sorely needed.

Interoperability

Only one vendor raised this issue: Hewlett-Packard. "We continue to see far too much vendor lock-in, which is getting worse with some of the proprietary virtualization appliances on the market," said Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing at HP's StorageWorks division. The Storage Networking Industry Association's SMI-S "is moving too slow -- and isn't adopted broadly enough," Eitenbichler added.

Price/Performance Improvements

Current costs per gigabyte also need to come into parity, since as Eitenbichler also noted, they're a bit out of whack with terabyte-level systems. "Protected storage in high-end and mid-range systems costs around $10 to $15 per GB, which is not sustainable with 1 TB priced at ~$500 in the consumer market," which is per byte, about half the cost of a GB system.

Hats off to HP for again calling attention to a challenge that, if met, doesn't necessarily have a result in the vendor's favor (unless making more systems more affordable induces more customers to buy).

NetApp's Kidd also noted the need to greatly improve the efficiency of today's storage, where the ratio of unique data to total disk space consumed is more than 10:1. "Technologies such as snapshots, thin provisioning, virtual clones, more efficient RAID, and de-duplication will help keep costs down as usable capacity grows," Kidd said. "This is especially important in a VMware environment where so much duplicate data exists on networked storage."

He also pointed to the decline in cost of flash memory, and noted that its subsequent adoption will disrupt the structure of primary storage -- these "large monolith arrays," Kidd said. Rather, enterprises will move to high performance "flash-based cache supported by large, inexpensive archives to deliver the optimal cost/performance solution," he predicted.

Long-Term Archiving

Tapes don't last forever -- just ask anyone at Iron Mountain -- and disks are subject to all sorts of possible problems. EMC'S Kalisky called for the establishment of "reliable digital archives that can provide information assurance and availability for 100 years or more." In parallel, separating data from the application, with the increased use of metadata for self-describing data, would help in that regard, he said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19012
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-17
An integer overflow in the search_in_range function in regexec.c in Oniguruma 6.x before 6.9.4_rc2 leads to an out-of-bounds read, in which the offset of this read is under the control of an attacker. (This only affects the 32-bit compiled version). Remote attackers can cause a denial-of-service or ...
CVE-2019-19022
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-17
iTerm2 through 3.3.6 has potentially insufficient documentation about the presence of search history in com.googlecode.iterm2.plist, which might allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information, as demonstrated by searching for the NoSyncSearchHistory string in .plist files within public Git r...
CVE-2019-19035
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-17
jhead 3.03 is affected by: heap-based buffer over-read. The impact is: Denial of service. The component is: ReadJpegSections and process_SOFn in jpgfile.c. The attack vector is: Open a specially crafted JPEG file.
CVE-2019-19011
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-17
MiniUPnP ngiflib 0.4 has a NULL pointer dereference in GifIndexToTrueColor in ngiflib.c via a file that lacks a palette.
CVE-2019-19010
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-16
Eval injection in the Math plugin of Limnoria (before 2019.11.09) and Supybot (through 2018-05-09) allows remote unprivileged attackers to disclose information or possibly have unspecified other impact via the calc and icalc IRC commands.