8 Things You Need to Know About Storage Delivery

By Wimpie van Rensburg, Systems Engineer, Riverbed Technology
8 ways to please your boss; keep users happy and centralise your storage.
Many enterprise CIOs today are centralising storage and backups to their core data centres, instead of allowing remote and branch offices to maintain the hardware and data. This makes sense for the sake of simplicity: who wants to manage all those devices from afar, not to mention the security risk and complexity of having multiple backup systems and dispersed data sets? And organisations with offices in sometimes unstable markets may not want any locally stored data in those offices, due to security concerns.
A significant driver for many organisations interested in storage consolidation, however, is cost. Companies want to maximize their investments in storage area networks (SANs) and realize the benefits of centralised storage. Chief among those benefits is lower IT costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain local storage and server hardware. Yet the big gotcha with centralised storage is that user experience at remote offices often suffers. A new concept, which bridges this gap, is storage delivery technology.
8 things you need to know about how storage delivery works and the associated benefits:
1. Storage delivery technology provides the means for companies to centralise storage and backup processes (and all the associated hardware, software, and administrative labour) in the corporate data centre while still giving branch office users the performance they need.
2. Storage delivery works by accelerating access to SANs across the WAN, decoupling storage from servers and allowing data to reside in one location yet be delivered to the branch as if it were local.
3. Storage delivery acts like a vacuum cleaner. It draws hard-to-manage branch servers and data back into a company‘s data centre storage, ensuring that any new data created by branch workers is also vacuumed up to the SAN.
4. Storage delivery appliances help ensure that centrally managed data is accessible locally to remote offices even if the wide area network connection is temporarily down.
5. Storage delivery helps a branch recover more quickly in the event of an outage. You can reboot the server connection over the WAN““or boot to a new location““and in a few minutes have all the same access to your data, versus the lengthy process of having to recover from tape.
6. Storage delivery means you don‘t have to hire branch-local IT staff to manage storage devices and do backups.
7. Storage delivery can reduce your IT costs in the branch by up to 60% from savings on hardware and management.
8. Storage delivery provides a fast, local experience, so that branch users feel like they are working in the home office and can have the same level of productivity.