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Top five storage channel tips of 2010

We've compiled our top five storage channel tips in 2010. Find out about LTO-5 tape, how to determine whether SSD will fix a customer's performance problems, how to choose between SAN and NAS to support server virtualization, how to solve problems with an existing NAS, and storage capacity planning in a virtualized environment.

To help you start off the new year on the right foot, we've gathered our top five storage channel tips of 2010. First, read our tip on LTO-5 tape technology and the new Linear Tape File System (LTFS). Second, learn how to determine whether SSD will fix a customer's performance problems. Third, get advice for making a storage platform recommendation for a virtualized server environment. Fourth, learn how to address three NAS problems by enhancing the system. And finally, see how to perform storage capacity planning in a virtualized environment.

TIP #1-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LTO-5 tape and LTFS position format for archiving
The latest generation of Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology, LTO-5, is the latest advancement in the LTO consortium's line of tape drive technology. LTO-5 has an increased capacity and includes two data partitions on the tape, allowing files to be written directly to tape and read by another computer, independent of operating system or application. And IBM released the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) to take advantage of this functionality. Read the full tip on LTO-5 tape and LTFS.

TIP #2-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SSD vs. HDD when fixing performance problems
Many data storage managers have considered implementing solid-state storage and solid-state drives (SSDs) in their data storage systems to address a performance problem. But before they make a decision, they should compare SSDs and HDDs. This tip examines SSDs and HDDs and explains how to determine whether SSD will actually fix a customer's performance problem.

TIP #3-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAN vs. NAS storage and virtualization: Three recommendations for VARs
The SAN vs. NAS debate has resurfaced in the virtual server environment. Storage channel professionals often have trouble deciding which storage platform to recommend to customers. This tip looks at the differences between SAN and NAS storage systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each in a server virtualization environment and provides three bottom-line recommendations for storage channel professionals. Read the full tip on SAN vs. NAS storage and virtualization.

TIP #4-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The best NAS strategy: Enhance customer systems by addressing three key problems
Existing NAS systems typically face one or more shortcomings, such as high capacity growth rates, tepid performance and over-consumption of power. Making improvements to a customer's NAS is a good way to extend the life of the hardware and in our current economy is more popular than replacing the NAS. Read the full tip on how to address these key problems with improvements to the NAS.

TIP #5-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to perform storage capacity planning in a virtualized server environment
Like in a physical server environment, storage capacity planning in a virtual server environment is difficult. To avoid headaches in virtualized server environments, follow four key steps, detailed in this tip.

Dig Deeper on Data Management Technology Services

LTFS tape NAS: What it is and how to build it In storage, cost is everything. So, imagine a storage medium with the frugal cost profile of tape and access times of NAS. Well, it already exists. Since 2010 the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) has allowed access to tapes as if they are spinning disk. Part of the LTO-5 tape format, LTFS partitions the tape, with one containing indexing information for all the data on the cartridge and the other contains the actual data. Marry this capability to a hardware NAS protocol front end with a disk cache and you have the potential for rapid access to massive amounts of data held on tape. Tiered storage is now mainstream. We have super-rapid flash for virtual machines and their data; Fibre Channel and 15k SAS for other fast access use cases. After that there is high-capacity SATA for bulk data, but here is where LTFS could start treading on the toes of disk vendors. That’s because, in some cases, where the use profile of data requires long retention and infrequent but relatively quick access, LTFS tape now rivals large capacity SATA as a nearline store. Maybe that’s why LTFS has failed to set the world on fire; there are just too many disk vendors who see it as a threat. Nevertheless, LTFS is worth looking at. And in this ComputerWeekly.com Guide you’ll find articles on why LTFS should be taken seriously and explanations of how tape NAS works and who sells products.

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