What’s New with Storage? By Greg Schulz article looks at storage technologies and trends that impact mainframe, UNIX, and Microsoft Windows server environments. Storage deployment continues to grow with no sign of capacity usage requirements decreasing. The need for more storage capacity and data protection can be traced to factors such as: THIS Applications continue to utilize and generate larger amounts of data. More structured and non-structured data is being digitally born. Data is being kept for longer periods of time for regulatory compliance. Duplicate copies of data are being made and kept for longer periods of time. Hot storage topics include: Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) for data and storage management. Data classification and creation of meta-databases to support ILM initiatives. Tiered data storage to support applicable business needs and requirements. Disk based backup as an alternative and/or a supplement to magnetic tape. Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Content Addressable Storage (CAS). NAS gateways to provide file access services of SAN shared storage. Wide Area File Services for improved remote data access and protection. Server, storage, and network based virtualization and storage services. Storage Resource Management (SRM) tools and management software. Technical Support | March 2005 Improvements to storage interfaces and protocols including: Storage over IP (iSCSI & NAS) and distance enablement (iFCP & FCIP). Storage over SONET/SDH optical carrier (OC-3, OC-12, OC-48) networks. 1Gb, 2Gb, and now 4Gb Fibre Channel with roadmap for future 8Gb. 10Gb Ethernet and 10Gb Fibre Channel for use in backbone networks. Multi-protocol routers for distance, protocol conversion, and segmentation. A major premise of ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) is to align the appropriate storage technology to applicable application and service requirement need. TIERED STORAGE A major premise of ILM(Information Lifecycle Management) is to align the appropriate storage technology to applicable application and service requirement need. Tiered storage includes different classes of data storage mediums (disk, tape, and optical technology), access methods, interfaces, and protection schemes. Tiered storage is not a new concept, particularly for enterprise and mainframe environments. In its basic form, tiered storage includes magnetic disk for on-line and magnetic tape for off-line data storage and protection. ©2005 Technical Enterprises, Inc. Reproduction of this document without permission is prohibited. FIGURE 1 shows an example of a tiered storage environment that encompasses different tiers for different applications and functions. Server tiers ranging from IBM Mainframes to high-end, mid-range, and entry level UNIX, Lintel, and Wintel type servers support application processing. These servers utilize block, file, or object based access to storage resources using storage interfaces and protocols including ESCON and FICON for IBM Mainframes. There are multiple methods for accessing storage (TABLE 1) including object, file, and block based. STORAGE OPTIONS A storage platform option for mixed open systems and mainframe attachment is cache centric enterprise class storage subsystems. For open systems environments, distributed and modular storage subsystems are commonly deployed supporting block, file, and mixed access. Clustered storage using tightly coupled and loosely coupled public and proprietary interconnects are gaining popularity for scaling storage resources. Most storage subsystems support one or more levels of RAID data protection along with local and remote data mirroring. Recent storage enhancements include support for partitioning of storage resources on storage subsystems and storage switches. An example is the Hitachi TagmaStor Universal Storage Processor (USP) that can partition storage devices, ports, and cache. Another example is the IBM DS8000 that leverages the hypervisor function of the PowerPC processor architecture to create storage partitions (also known as logical domains). The logical domains in the IBM DS8000 initially are deployed to function as a storage subsystem however in the future they could support other applications such as volume managers; SAN file systems, and data protection software. Examples of switches with partitions include current generation ones from CNT and McData. The disk drive market divides disks into three general categories: consumer, desktop and enterprise. These, in turn, can be subdivided further. All SATA disk drives are not the same in that there are desktop and enterprise class SATA disk drives. Enterprise class SATA disk drives have advanced features including native command queuing (NCQ), vibration dampening, performance enhancements and improved mean time between failures (MBTF) reliability. With initial deployments targeted for servers (blade and traditional), 2.5” Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives will eventually find their way into high-density storage arrays. In addition to SAS as a new storage interface, SATA, Fibre Channel, and SCSI disk drives will continue to be deployed for the foreseeable future. TABLE 2 shows magnetic disk drive options characteristics and where they fit in a tiered storage environment. Another storage component for tiered storage is the storage and network interface and protocols that are used for attaching storage resources. This includes server to storage interfaces and protocols along with storage to storage for local and remote mirroring and data migration. TABLE 3 shows various storage interfaces options for accessing storage resources. The decision of how many storage tiers (or classes of storage) to establish depends on how complicated you want to get. Keep in mind the more classes and storage tiers that you establish, the more you will have to manage. The idea behind stabling storage tiers is to help address management by not treating all data the same. Find a balance between too many storage tiers and treating all data the same that results in more data being backed up and managed. A simple guide TABLE 1: STORAGE ACCESS CHARACTERISTICS AND TYPICAL APPLICATIONS Object Based (CAS) File Based (NAS) Block Based Characteristics Content address storage (CAS) based on unique object identifier to reduce duplicate data. Write Once Read Many (WORM) technology may be incorporated for data retention. File based access and data sharing using IP based networks. Some protocols include Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS). Implemented on general purpose servers, appliances with dedicated storage, and via gateways using shared SAN storage. Low latency high performance data access mechanisms. Fundamental method used by other access methods to perform I/O to storage devices. Typical Applications Fixed content and data retention including medical imaging, and financial archiving for compliance and regulatory needs. Databases and E-mail with low to moderate I/O and performance needs as well as web hosting and file serving and data sharing across multiple server and operating systems. I/O intensive applications including databases, file systems, OLTP, imaging, large E-Mail systems. TABLE 2: STORAGE OPTION APPLICATIONS Drive Type Fibre Channel (FC) SAS SATA Parallel SCSI Characteristics Well suited for online networked (SAN & NAS) and direct attached storage with good scalability and performance. High availability with good performance for random reads for on-line storage environments. Near-line, secondary storage for enterprise and primary storage for entry level environments. Good sequential read performance with lower availability compared to enterprise class storage. High availability with good performance for random reads for on-line storage environments. Comments Well suited for mission critical and high performance applications in mid-range and enterprise environments. Good scalability, availability and performance similar to FC enterprise class disks with affordably of SATA. Low cost high capacity storage not well suited for I/O (performance) intensive environments. Compatible with SAS interfaces and controllers. Good scalability, availability, and performance for mid-range and enterprise environments. Being replaced by FC and SAS storage. TABLE 3: STORAGE INTERFACE AND PROTOCOL OPTIONS Protocol or Interface ATA/IDE ESCON (FC-SB) Ethernet FCIP Fibre Channel FICON (FC-SB-2) iFCP Infiniband iSCSI NAS Gateway PCI PCI-Express PCI-X SAS SATA SCSI SCSI Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) UltraSCSI Characteristics Parallel electrical signaling traditionally used on PCs. Mainframe interface that operates in half duplex at 18MB/sec. Open standard networking interface supporting speeds from 10Mb/sec to 10,000Mb/sec (10Gb). Protocol for spanning distances. Open storage interface supports upper level protocols including FCP, FICON, and TCP/IP among others at speeds of 1Gb, 2Gb, 4Gb, and 10Gb/sec over various distances and network topologies. Mainframe protocol on Fibre Channel that supports full duplex speeds of 400MByte/sec (2Gb) over extended distances. Gateway protocol for distance and segmenting FC SANs. Low latency interconnect that supports direct memory to memory data transfers, SCSI command set, and TCP/IP. SCSI command set on TCP/IP for block data access over IP. While not a storage interface or protocol, NAS gateways are gaining popularity to enable block SAN storage resources to be accessed by IP network based servers. Server host bus interface for attachment of peripherals including Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SCSI, and Infiniband. High speed server bus interface for attachment of Infiniband, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel adapters. Enhanced and faster version of traditional PCI interface. Serial attached SCSI signaling to replace parallel SCSI. Serial ATA signaling used for high capacity storage access. Physical interface and command set. SCSI command set on Fibre Channel for open systems block based access commonly called Fibre Channel SAN. Parallel electrical signaling using SCSI command set. is to establish N+1 storage tiers where you have “N” tiers of on-line or near-line storage and one off-line. Note that off-line does not have to be magnetic tape, it could be optical or magnetic disk. TABLE 4 shows storage interfaces and devices along with future trend for the next 1-3 years. STORAGE VIRTUALIZATION SERVICES Virtualization provides transparent access and abstraction of resources as well as facilitates transition to new technology, and ©2005 Technical Enterprises, Inc. Reproduction of this document without permission is prohibited. Technical Support | March 2005 improves and enhances management without adding workload. Storage virtualization services can be implemented on host servers using volume managers, storage subsystems, and network based switches and appliances. Storage virtualization and services functions include: Storage management and configuration. Isolation of heterogeneous components (hardware and software). RAID and data protection capabilities. Heterogeneous mirroring and replication locally and over distance. LUN and Volume management including storage pooling and aggregation. Protocol conversion and gateway functions including file (NAS) access. Security including encryption and authentication. Data migration and movement tools to support tiered storage. STORAGE TRENDS AND TIPS Workstation and PC, Entry Level NAS Current Storage Interface Disk and Media Type Future Storage Interface Disk and Media Type Some general storage related trends and tips include: TABLE 4: STORAGE INTERFACE AND DISK OPTIONS USAGE AND TRENDS ILM is a process and paradigm approach to data and information management as opposed to a specific product however there are hardware, software, and network solutions that help support an ILM enabled infrastructure. Magnetic tape continues to be enhanced (performance, capacity, reliability, lower cost) and is not dead, as some would have you believe. Magnetic disk is being used on an increasing basis for data protection and functions that have traditionally been handled by magnetic tape. Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMIS) is being deployed by hardware and software vendors as a management interface technology. Faster storage interfaces including PCI-Express and PCI-X host adapters are appearing on servers to utilize faster CPUs, storage, and network interfaces. Wide Area File Services (WAFS) enabling remote storage to be accessed more efficiently, including management for data protection at faster speeds and improved network utilization over WAN interfaces. Understand and classify your applications and data to align to properly tiered storage, tiered storage access, and tiered data protection level. The golden rule of storage virtualization is that who ever controls the meta data, or storage services management software, controls the vendor lock-in. Chipsets, ATA/SATA & SCSI adapters, Ethernet NICs (iSCSI initiator and NAS over IP) ATA & SATA (5,400 & 7,200 RPM) single ported. Chipsets, SAS Adapters ATA & SATA (5,400 to 7,200RPM), SAS 10K and 15K, single ported Servers, Blade Servers, Direct Attached Storage Chipsets, RAID on mother boards (ROMB), blades with embedded disks, ATA/SATA, SCSI, FC adapters, Ethernet NICs (iSCSI & NAS) ATA & SATA (5,400 & 7,200RPM), SCSI single and dual ported. Chipsets, ROMB Adapters, Ethernet (iSCSI & NAS) SATA (5,400 & 7,200RPM), SAS (10K & 15K RPM) single and dual ported Primary Storage, network attached via SAN or NAS for Enterprise and Midrange use Secondary, Near-line and Offline storage SCSI, FC/FICON, ESCON, SATA, Ethernet for iSCSI and IP based NAS. SCSI, FC/FICON, ESCON, SATA, Ethernet for iSCSI and IP based NAS. ATA, SATA, SCSI, FC various speeds up to 15K and capacities from 18GB up to 400GB. Single & dual port. Magnetic Tape Optical Disk Magnetic Disk ATA, SATA, SCSI, FC larger capacity disk drives iSCSI/Ethernet, FC/FICON, SAS iSCSI/Ethernet, FC/FICON, SAS SAS and FC disk drives (10K & 15K RPM), single, dual, quad ported Magnetic Tape Optical Disk Magnetic Disk SATA, SAS and FC disk drives (10K & 15K RPM), single, dual, quad ported FIGURE 1: TIERED STORAGE, ACCESS, AND DATA PROTECTION (FUD). To fully leverage buying opportunities, you need to have a plan and be aware of current technology options. You can learn more about buying and acquisition, including free evaluation criteria workbooks, at the Evaluator Group website (www.evaluatorgroup.com/workbook). SUMMARY It is a storage buyer’s market when it comes to storage, particularly hardware oriented acquisitions. There are many options, however, there is also a large amount of vendor hype and fear uncertainty and doubt Technical Support | March 2005 NaSPA member Greg Schulz is the author of the book “Resilient Storage Networks” (Elsevier Books) ISBN 1555583113 and a senior analyst with the Evaluator Group.You can learn more at www.evaluatorgroup.com/book. ©2005 Technical Enterprises, Inc. Reproduction of this document without permission is prohibited.
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