Computer storage, the ubiquitous component that has invaded both our personal and working space, has taken on a life of its own with the new technology of storage networking. Like it or not, weve become a global society with a currency of information thats exchanged within todays computer networks. Nearly every aspect of our world, including the places where we live and work, are accessible through the Internetthe data from which is stored on enormous online informational databases.
Our lives revolve around computer technology. Although we dont always realize it, accessing information on a daily basis the way we do means there must be computers out there that store the data we need, making certain its available when we need it, and ensuring the datas both accurate and up-to-date. Rapid changes within the computer networking industry have had a dynamic effect on our ability to retrieve information, and networking innovations have provided powerful tools that allow us to access data on a personal and global scale.
Both the proliferation of data and the dynamics of storing it have given way to changes in how computer storage is used and accessed. The networking innovations have driven global, local, and personal computing to greater levels of sophistication in storage technology. Because of this, were now faced with the problems of what data to keep, how to keep it, and where to keep it. And if I do keep it, just where do I put it? We store information everywhere these days. We keep diskettes and CDs stuffed in our desks at home, collect disk and tape files at work, while countries as a whole continuously add to the mountains of archived computer tapes kept at cavernous hiding places over fear of nuclear fallout.
With so much data to store and with such global access to it, the collision between networking technology and storage innovations was inevitable. The gridlock of too much data coupled with too many requests for access has long challenged IT professionals. To storage and networking vendors , as well as computer researchers, the problem is not new. And as long as personal computing devices and corporate data centers demand greater storage capacity to offset our increasing appetite for access, the challenge will be with us. Chapter 1 will explore the data access challenges, driven by networking innovation, against data storage, exponentially increasing with innovation in media, capacity, and deployment.