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

10/28/2010
02:43 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

The Futility Of A Single Storage Platform

Every storage supplier wants to be your only vendor. It sounds like a good idea. It would simplify storage management, simplify purchasing and make it easier to train new IT staff and protect you if the current staff has some turnover. While meeting with users at SNW Europe, I was reminded just how futile of a goal this really is.

Every storage supplier wants to be your only vendor. It sounds like a good idea. It would simplify storage management, simplify purchasing and make it easier to train new IT staff and protect you if the current staff has some turnover. While meeting with users at SNW Europe, I was reminded just how futile of a goal this really is.There are several things that users cite as reasons they can't get to a single platform. First, despite what many suppliers think there is no platform that is perfect for all possible use cases. Different data and application demands as well as budget realities are going to drive the need for differing types of storage products. The suppliers back me up on this by their own product offerings, most don't have a single storage offering. In fact most of the large vendors have several that are dramatically different in form and function.

Second, even if you were able to find a single platform that could cover the wide majority of your data needs, you can't control acquisitions and mergers. Your company may acquire another company or you may be acquired. The chances of the other company having the same storage hardware as you is relatively low. It is also unlikely that you are going to be able to throw out whatever storage hardware that the other company was using and buy new equipment that matches your own. Reality will mandate that you integrate the two storage platforms as best you can.

Third, there is also the practical matter of keeping everyone honest, or at least on their toes. If you have other storage vendors for your data center it is going to reduce the risk of a vendor getting complacent. This is not just a matter of price but also capability. If you only have one vendor, and that vendor starts to fall behind in technical feature set, moving to another platform that is more feature rich could be challenging.

Once you accept the fact that multiple storage vendors are going to exist in your data center. The next step is to decide how many are you going to have? My advice is to limit the number of vendors to two or three but if you put the right vendor neutral storage management tools in place then it is really up to you which platform you choose to host your applications on and how many of platforms you need.

The tools available to manage a mixed storage vendor reality have matured greatly over the past few years and there are several choices to make when it comes to how you are going to manage that environment. There are storage appliances that can virtualize a variety of attaching storage devices. These appliances essentially "turn-off" the feature set of your current storage systems and then replace it with their own. There are also software managing and monitoring tools that provide a centralized view of storage that allow you to keep the specific features of your storage systems "turned-on". Most of these tools require that you still go to the storage systems individual GUI to take action though. There are also the operating systems or hypervisors that can now provide much of the storage management or intelligence that used to be the sole domain of the storage system.

We will detail each of these methods in upcoming entries but it is important to realize that managing a mixed vendor environment is more possible then ever. Given the realities of budgets, mergers, acquisitions and meeting varying degrees of data demands a mixed vendor storage model may not just be reality, it may be the best possible option.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
TPM-Fail: What It Means & What to Do About It
Ari Singer, CTO at TrustPhi,  11/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: -when I told you that our cyber-defense was from another age
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-2019-18858
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
CODESYS 3 web server before 3.5.15.20, as distributed with CODESYS Control runtime systems, has a Buffer Overflow.
CVE-2019-3466
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
The pg_ctlcluster script in postgresql-common in versions prior to 210 didn't drop privileges when creating socket/statistics temporary directories, which could result in local privilege escalation.
CVE-2010-4659
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in statusnet through 2010 in error message contents.
CVE-2019-4530
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
IBM Maximo Asset Management 7.6, 7.6.1, and 7.6.1.1 could allow an authenticated user to delete a record that they should not normally be able to. IBM X-Force ID: 165586.
CVE-2019-4561
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
IBM Security Identity Manager 6.0.0 could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system, caused by the deserialization of untrusted data. By persuading a victim to visit a specially crafted Web site, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the syst...