IDC just completed a study of the Digital Universe and if you are a corporate entity with all your data in one tier, it’s time to think a new game plan. By 2011, there will be 1,800 exabytes of electronic data in existence, or 1.8 zettabytes (an exabyte is equal to 1 billion gigabytes). In fact, the number of bits stored already exceeds the estimated number of stars in the universe, IDC stated.
Start Tiering Now! I have personally been architecting open storage disk “vaults” [meaning 40+ drives in one 4U shelf] just about ’since they were invented. Condor has seen a subtle shift from user requests for D2D backup projects into smartly bundled solutions for vast network shares, long term archival and secondary and third tier storage, that is truly cost contained. After all, if you know today’s price for a 42TB. vault with all the fixin’s you desire, and your storage needs grow by 200% over three years, you can plan on how much to allocate for your storage budget as the prices seldom ever go up.
Read the study highlights below and you will see that tiered storage may become as commonly accepted as raid technology is now. Green powered vaults with extreme density designs will come from a few select manufacturers, but be OEMed by hundreds of firms hoping to sell you their name on the sheet metal. I have an ROI showing how major manufacturers marketing 14 drive arrays make more revenue from SLA’s. They probably should have all OEMed a 4U 40x drive vault by now, but are holding off at your expense.
What can be done immediately to help save power and cooling costs?
Kenneth G. Brill, executive director of the Uptime Institute recently told eWEEK: “Applications need to be sorted into mission critical, business critical, business operational and business administrative reliability categories. Each application then needs to be assigned to the lowest appropriate data center tier level.” We have the software to do this now, despite whether you have budget to buy storage to park it on. Utilize your older, disparate arrays with ILM software at $4K/per license and start setting policies to tier that data.
The main findings of the “Digital Universe” study:
- The digital universe is bigger than we thought: 281 exabytes in 2007.
- The digital universe will grow tenfold in five years.
- In 2007, the digital universe contained more bits (computer I’s and 0′s) than there are stars in the physical universe.
- There is now more information created in a year than there is capacity to store it.
- Responsibility for the information in the digital universe by industry does NOT match IT spend or GDP distribution by industry.
- A single e-mail with a 1MB attachment sent to four colleagues can generate 50MB of information in the digital universe (based on an IDC-like architecture).
Don’t ask Jeeves, he won’t know your rate of growth! Ask Condor for a common sense tiered storage plan.