1.2 Where do we store DATA and INFORMATION ?


Within the world of IT, storage is one of the three major IT infrastructure systems:
  • Computing
  • Networking
  • Storage
At a high level, we often think of these as three layers: the computing layer, the network
layer, and the storage layer. In the computing layer, applications such as web servers, databases, and apps live and run. The network layer provides the connectivity between computing nodes. For example, a common design approach has a computer running a web server service, which talks to a database service running on another computer, all via the network layer. Finally, the storage layer is where all the data resides.

In this particular tutorials, we will go deep into STORAGE and it uses in current and future IT industry.


What is a Storage ?

In a computing environment, storage devices (or simply “storage”) are devices consisting of non-volatile recording media on which information can be persistently stored. Storage may be on internal hard drive, removable memory cards, or external magnetic tape drive connected to a compute system. Based on the nature of the storage media used, storage devices can be broadly classified as
  • Magnetic storage devices -  hard disk drive and magnetic tape drive.
  • Optical storage devices -  Blu-ray, DVD, and CD.
  • Flash-based storage devices -  solid state drive (SSD), memory card, and USB thumb drive (or pen drive).
Storage is a core component in an organisation's IT infrastructure. Various factors such as the media, architecture, capacity, addressing, reliability, and performance influence the choice and use of storage devices in an enterprise environment. For example, disk drives and SSDs are used for storing business-critical information that needs to be continuously accessible to applications and on the other-side magnetic tapes and optical storage are typically used for backing up and archiving data.

Also Read: Types of Storage Devices used in Storage Arrays

Storage ArrayIn enterprise environments, information is typically stored on storage systems also known as storage arrays. A storage system is a hardware component that contains a group of homogeneous/heterogeneous storage devices assembled within a cabinet. These enterprise-class storage systems are designed for high capacity, scalability, performance, reliability, and security to meet business requirements. The compute systems (servers) that run business applications are provided storage capacity from storage systems. Organisations typically house their IT infrastructure, including compute systems, storage systems, and network equipment within a data center.

What is a Data Center ?

A Data Center is a dedicated facility where an organisation houses, operates, and maintains back-end IT infrastructure including compute systems (servers), storage systems, and network equipment along with other supporting infrastructure. 

Data Center

A Data Center centralizes an organisation's IT equipment and data-processing operations, and is vital for carrying out business operations. A data center typically comprises the following
  • Facility: It is the building and floor space where the data center is constructed. It typically has a raised floor with ducts underneath holding power and network cables.
  • IT equipment: It includes equipment such as compute systems, storage systems, network equipment and cables, and cabinets for housing the IT equipment.
  • Support infrastructure: It includes all the equipment necessary to securely sustain the functioning of the data center. Some key support equipment are power equipment including uninterruptible power sources, and power generators; environmental control equipment including fire and water detection systems, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and security systems including biometrics, keycard, and video surveillance systems.
A data center may be constructed in-house and located in an organisation's own facility, or it may be outsourced, with equipment being located at a third-party site.

Software-Define DataCenter

In traditional Data Centers, the intelligence is tightly coupled with physical hardware, which is again usually coupled with the physical drives and the rest of the backend. But Software-define Data center  is all about decoupling the hardware and the intelligence. It takes all of the value out of the hardware infrastructure and encapsulate into software. Thus changing the traditional data center functions into Software defined functions.

Also Read: Software Defined Storage Overview

Software-defined data center (SDDC) is an architectural approach to IT infrastructure that extends virtualisation concepts such as abstraction, pooling, and automation to all of the data center’s resources and services to achieve IT as a service (ITaaS). 

  • In an SDDC, compute, storage, networking, security, and availability services are pooled, aggregated, and delivered as a service. SDDC services are managed by intelligent, policy-driven software.
  • A software-defined controller is software with built-in intelligence that automates provisioning and configuration based on the defined policies. It enables organisations to dynamically, uniformly, and easily modify and manage their infrastructure. 
  • It abstracts the underlying hardware resources (compute, storage, and network) and pools them. This enables the rapid provisioning of resources from the pool based on pre-defined policies that align to the service level agreements for different consumers.
Cloud Computing is the main drivers for Software-defined Datacenters. This will simplify the work of maintaining servers & storage systems and also it might possibly eliminate the L1  level administrative tasks which we do in today's traditional data centers. 

Best-Of-Breed Infrastrucutre Vs Converged Infrasrucutre

We can build the data center infrastructure either by integrating best-of-breed infrastructure components, or by acquiring and deploying a converged infrastructure.

Best-of-breed infrastructure: In this approach, organisations integrate the best-of-breed infrastructure components (hardware and software) purchased from multiple different vendors. This enables the organisations to leverage the advantages of high quality products and services from the respective leading vendors in the segment. It provides the flexibility to change the individual vendors in case the committed support is not provided and the SLAs are not met. Additionally, this approach allows organisations to re-purpose the existing infrastructure components, providing a cost benefit.


Converged infrastructure: A converged infrastructure integrates hardware and software components that make up a data center into a single packaged solution. This package is a self-contained unit that can be deployed independently, or aggregated with other packages to meet the additional capacity and performance requirements. The package is pre-configured and optimized, which reduces the time to acquire and deploy the infrastructure. It also lowers power and space requirements. Vendors also provide cloud-ready converged infrastructure with built-in capabilities for secure multi-tenancy. Converged infrastructure has a single management software capable of managing all hardware and software within the package.







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