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Addressing Enterprise NAS Priorities

The Enterprise Strategy Group forecasts that the enterprise NAS market will continue to grow like gangbusters

The Enterprise Strategy Group forecasts that the enterprise NAS market will continue to grow like gangbusters over the next two years, reaching 62,000 petabytes in 2012! That number represents a huge sales opportunity for EMC, NetApp, Dell, HP, IBM, BlueArc, and the rest of the traditional NAS array market leaders. It also represents an opportunity for vendors like F5 with their file virtualization systems, as well as cloud storage service providers like Nirvanix with CloudNAS.

Jump over to ESG Analyst, Terri McClure's blog to check out the numbers for yourself!

What features are enterprise NAS buyers looking for? ESG's numbers show that this continued growth of the installed base of storage systems is a huge problem. So big that the top two priorities for enterprise NAS buyers are the efficiency of all these storage systems from a power, cooling, and space perspective. Simply put, where are the enterprise IT staff going to put another million or so NAS arrays?

I have a modest suggestion: Use the following key technologies to reduce the number of systems on your floor!

  1. Leverage storage resource management tools to make sure you are using all that NAS capacity efficiently. Hint: Microsoft's File Server Resource Manager software is free with Windows Server 2008 and much improved in Server 2008 R2!
  2. Certain data types can be reduced in size using storage optimization, deduplication, and compression tools. Look at Ocarina Networks' Optimizer, for example.
  3. Most of the data stored on high-end NAS systems is inactive. Consider using a file virtualization product like the F5 (formerly Acopia) ARX to implement smart storage tiering, moving infrequently-accessed data to lower cost storage systems.
  4. Consider moving valuable but less frequently-accessed data to the cloud. Nirvanix' CloudNAS software allows everyday applications to use cloud storage without modification. It makes a great target for your SRM, optimization, or virtualization system!

Combining one or more of these options has a massive impact on system efficiency and resource requirements. Consider that nearly every line item in the ESG list can be addressed using these technologies!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett has provided vendor-independent end user consulting on storage topics for over 10 years. He has been a storage columnist and has authored numerous articles for industry publications. Stephen is a popular presenter at industry events and recently received Microsoft’s MVP award for contributions to the enterprise storage community. As the director of consulting for Nirvanix, Foskett provides strategic consulting to assist Fortune 500 companies in developing strategies for service-based tiered and cloud storage. He holds a bachelor of science in Society/Technology Studies, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.