components, devices, and recording media that retain digital data used for computing for some interval of time.

StorageHowever you define storage you cannot escape that the development of strategies to maximise its usage and manage its usage are becoming ever more vital in the modem network environment.

Alongside the increase in capacity of disk drives at both a server and workstation level, we have seen an increasing requirement to retain information for financial, legal and quality purposes.

The selection of an appropriate method of storage has widened to match the nature of the data and the speed with which it can be retrieved and processed, with the likes of NAS (Network Attached Storage) seeing a rise in popularity across most market segments.

SAN1For those larger enterprises the implementation of SAN technology (Storage Area Network) has seen a significant impact on wasted capacity (the excess of disk space held on a server which is in excess of that required for the applications hosted, and therefore left unused). The easiest way to envisage a SAN is as a network that connects storage to servers.

It was not that long ago that people started to sound the death knell for Tape as a method of storage. However, in our opinion it has never lost its appeal. With the launch, not so long ago, of LTO4 - which has a capacity of up to 1.6Tb per cartridge, and its subsequent uptake in the market, our opinion has been confirmed. Tape is still the mechanism of choice for archiving data which will be subsequently removed from site for security purposes.

With backup windows being reduced and an increasing volume of data requiring archiving one proven solution worth considering is D2D2T (Disk to Disk to Tape). This process uses archive data to high speed Disk Storage as the first level, thus allowing the data to be made available to users extremely quickly. Data is then committed to Tape, a cost effective, transportable and removable medium, for safe keeping. In the case of data recovery being required the potential for this being available near-line is increased.