EMC's Tucci: More Intelligence Needed In Storage Network

Erez Ofer, executive vice president of open software operations at EMC, then followed Tucci on stage to tell attendees how the Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage vendor plans to put storage intelligence closer to where it belongs with new software offerings.

Specifically, servers require software and drivers to interface with the storage, and arrays need management software, Tucci said. But the storage network devices need the intelligence to manage the entire storage infrastructure, he noted.

And the need to manage storage infrastructure is escalating as storage capacity continues to grow, despite corporate caps on IT spending, Tucci said. He cited a recent report from research firm Meta Group that said 13 cents of every IT dollar now goes to storage, if one includes the cost of the storage along with the cost of related items such as floor space, administration, training and support. "While [the report] says IT is focusing more on storage, it really means that IT firms are focusing more on data," Tucci said.

Last year, total storage capacity worldwide was about 262 petabytes, up from roughly 122 petabytes in 2000, Ofer said. In 2002, 1.7 million Fibre Channel storage switch ports were installed globally, compared with only 813,000 ports in 2000, he said.

Sponsored post

Given such growth, the cost per megabyte of storage should hit 0.1 cents by 2010, compared with 2 cents per megabyte now, Ofer predicted. At the same time, the average enterprise will manage 1,000 petabytes by 2010, up from about 30 petabytes this year.

In his presentation, Ofer unveiled enhancements to EMC's PowerPath storage management application. PowerPath is designed to increase application availability and performance as well as simplify management with multiple channels between servers, switches and storage.

Enhancements to PowerPath include the addition of Volume Management technology, which allows automatic recognition of LUN (logical unit number) growth and nondisruptive importing of multiple point-in-time copies of data. Later this year, EMC plans to further enhance PowerPath by adding the ability to support arrays from multiple vendors and perform nondisruptive upgrades to the application, Ofer said. He also introduced PowerPath Data Mobility, an enhancement that allows online storage reconfiguration plus non-disruptive migration of data from one array to another, a challenge that he said arises every time an array comes off-lease.

Down the road, EMC also plans to sharpen its focus on recovery management--which Ofer said is now becoming more important than backup management--and offer enhancements to improve information life-cycle management, or the ability to ensure that data is stored where it meets customer requirements for cost and speed of access for the duration of its storage.

"You can expect to see us talk more going forward about where data lives and how to manage it," Ofer said.