Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Zombie Storage & Clouds

Imagine the Press release - High availability data center moves Zombie storage into the clouds.

(EOL) End Of Life announcements often frighten storage users into upgrading equipment when they don't have to. Storage administrators know that files and document storage is getting harder to maintain as our digital data trail grows. Actually, everyone knows it - we all have saved stuff somewhere and can't remember where it is on our hard drives.

Most folks agree with this NetApp study

"Compared to the full amount of allocated storage on the file servers, this represents only 10 percent of data," Leung said. '[This] means that 90 percent of the data is untouched during this three-month period.'

After (3) months most data becomes Zombie storage - storage that is spinning and burning electricity, but very rarely accessed. As it ages it gets accessed less and less. How many documents have I stored over the last ten years which are still on my hard drives, but I will never look at again? I will bet there are thousands. I am guilty of creating Zombie storage.

The delete key is the green key that is never used enough.


Storage should have a cost per user, but as storage media gets cheaper, we save more useless information - How many of us have heard the phrase " there is no cost to saving data". Junk accumulates quickly yet needs to be accessible - According to users. Spinning media with dead data still takes power, directly and in cooling costs. There is a cost.

This is where your legacy storage platform can come to play. Using the Hierarchical Storage Management models of olde , you can move secondary and tertiary storage to olde platforms that the OEM does not maintain any more. Zombie storage can be put on low performance media. After all, data migrations are expensive. Data that is rarely accessed can be shuffled between older assets quite easily. Mirroring and copying data based on access rules makes a lot of sense.

Some folks are using Cloud Storage providers for this, but I have concerns about security for sensitive data being put in a cloud storage provider's aggregated storage.

In the next few months I expect to see a provider emerge from the fog that will be able to provide a very high speed, private, secure, cloud storage solution that will charge only for storage as you need it. If this all emerges as I expect it to, we may have an answer to controlling costs on your Zombie storage requirements.

....Thanks for the link Simon

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