Archive for October, 2010
Maybe all data should have RPO=0.
I was thinking today about a conversation I had a few years ago with the storage administrator of a major financial services company. I wanted to understand his perspective on when zero data loss was important and when it wasn’t. He told me that his team spent a lot of time with the application developers and the business unit executives discussing the various recovery point objective (RPO) requirements and the cost of the various approaches. We’ve all been told that RPO should be tied to the business value of the application, and that we shouldn’t over-insure or under-insure our data. Over-insure and you waste money. Under-insure and you increase risk.
But then he told me the challenge wasn’t in determining the RPO requirements when an application was developed. The challenge was determining RPO requirements of applications that are part of a business process that is constantly changing. “I’m fine with the RPO requirements until some developer takes an application that used to be non-critical and puts it into the critical path,” he said.
According to an article by Peter Judge in eWeek Europe, storage consumes from 20-45% of the power used by a data center. Naturally, storage suppliers are all looking for ways to make their storage more energy efficient. And, as Peter says in the article, when it comes to energy efficiency, “the storage world seems to be ahead of its server brethren.”
In order to think about the energy efficiency of a storage system, you have to think about more than how much energy a storage system consumes per GB of stored data or how much energy is required to retrieve a block of data. Approaches such as automated storage tiering, which move infrequently accessed data to lower-cost and more energy-efficient media, can have an impact on energy consumption. Data compression and de-duplication can also have an impact, since you don’t pay energy bills for data that you don’t store. Automated data retention and data destruction policies can also have an impact, though the flood of new data typically dwarfs historical data, and almost all data is important to someone, so users are naturally resistant to destroying old data.
There are three things every company’s disaster recovery planner should know:
- The communications costs for the current data replication approach
- The communications costs when using Axxana’s Phoenix System RP
- The cost of the Axxana Phoenix System RP
I thought I should share with you at little known secret. One of Axxana’s first installations of the Phoenix System RP was done at no cost to the customer. That’s right. No cost. And it wasn’t because we gave the customer the system for free. We didn’t.
I just had a call with John McArthur, who helped us out at an EMC Select Road Show last week. John is President of Walden Technology Partners, Inc., and was the top storage analyst at IDC for many years. He now works as an advisor to several technology companies, including Axxana.
John told me there were about 140 Commercial Account sales reps at the road show, and that they are “very PUMPED” about Axxana. EMC is, for sure, a storage company, but more than that, they’re a systems company. Like any good systems company, they want to sell solutions, and hopefully solutions to problems that are more challenging than “I need more storage, and I need it to be cheaper.” So when John told them that they had an opportunity to solve problems for customers that no other systems company today could solve, they really listened, and they got excited.