Networked storage offers strategic benefits over DAS by providing significant cost advantages. Networked storage creates economies of scale and increases operational efficiencies, which reduce the TCO. Networked storage also provides the requisite technology for resolving many storage-related issues, such as the need for long distance data replication.
The current process of managing heterogeneous storage on a storage network is a complex one that at this point in time diminishes operational economies of scale. As storage management software matures, however, operational efficiencies related to managing heterogeneous storage will increase and the TCO for heterogeneous storage will decrease.
Utilizing a tiered storage infrastructure allows more granular management of costs associated with storage management and will in the future (as storage management software matures) lower the overall TCO for storage.
If the charge is then for the CIO to provide the following conditions, then a prime area of concentration for IT departments should be to enable a storage vision that addresses the firm's storage vulnerabilities:
Scalable, cost-efficient storage solutions that increase the availability of mission-critical business information
Sound recoverability to business operations in the event of a disaster
Flexible environments that increase productivity through increased uptime
Increased business value via cost avoidance and the decreased frequency of hardware procurements through increased yield
A storage vision begins with the consolidation and decommissioning of DAS (and its migration to a networked storage infrastructure) and ends with a framework of cost-effective, tiered storage solutions that are tailored to support applications with storage as a utility-like service.