We talk quite a bit about Storage Efficiency at NetApp, but what exactly does it mean to the end users? Is Storage Efficiency simply just data deduplication and nothing more? I highly doubt it. Well, consulting the all-knowing/all-seeing wizard at Wikipedia I was shocked to find there is not an entry about Storage Efficiency. Why not? We know it's taboo for corporations to create or edit their own Wikipedia pages so we won't go there.
IF there was to be an entry for Storage Efficiency, what should it say? Here's my proposed definition (very short and simple):
The ability to store and manage your data while consuming the least amount of space on disk with little to no impact on performance, resulting in a lower overall cost.
In reality, Storage Efficiency goes beyond just deduplication of data - what about those technologies that don't duplicate data to begin with? To me, that's more even more efficient than removing duplicate data by some process. What about adding in compression? If the data is replicated, you also want efficiency in your replication to avoid saturating you available bandwidth, correct? What about using the larger capacity SATA drives that are available, while getting the performance equivalent of FC disks?
To me, a good story around Storage Efficiency has to take all the various components of a data center (and remote office) into account. In my next couple posts, I plan to focus on how NetApp's data protection solutions fit with our Storage Efficiency story.
That's a start. What do you think? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
Data Protection Solutions
Technical Marketing Engineer