Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Introduction To Storage Software

All businesses face the challenge of storing their data easily, inexpensively and in a timely fashion. Initially, companies used tape-based systems to store data. There is now a rapid change to disk-based systems. At the same time, there has been a change in the software that supports this function and manages the stored data.
With rising numbers of branch offices, servers and amounts of data, storage needs are continually increasing. Organisations need to invest in systems that will save and back up data. This is where storage software comes in. It performs a threefold task:
It simplifies control and management of hardware resources (devices and networks).
It assures backup, archival and recovery of data.
It takes care of replication and copying of data as it is created or downloaded.
While older systems of storage were more time intensive, the newer ones are more investment intensive. Many new storage software tools aim to reduce the cost of disk-based storage to encourage adoption of the newer technology by all sizes of organisation. Some providers also offer hosted services that are more scalable and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses.
Most storage software solutions rely heavily on hardware options. The ideal combination is a system where the software and hardware work together for an optimal performance and high level of flexibility. Many software storage providers partner with hardware manufacturers such as Dell, IBM, Fujitsu and HP to offer solutions like this. Larger players have acquired storage specialists such as Veritas and StorageTek so that they can offer these services.
This consolidation is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that more established players will offer bundled products that include additional features such as content management systems within the storage software to allow integrated retrieval and archival processes.
By: Paul Howe
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