Business Applications Defined for Storage

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Business applications, or, more specifically , enterprise business applications, will be most effected by and find value in storage networking. In order to completely understand this phenomenon , we must first define an enterprise business application, as well as differentiate it from maintenance applications and support programs processed within IT organizations.

Microsoft defines enterprise business applications as complex, scalable, distributed, component-based, and mission-critical applications that may be deployed on a variety of platforms across corporate networks, intranets , or the Internet. [1] Enterprise business applications are datacentric and user friendly, but must meet stringent requirements for security, administration, and maintenance. Beyond these common qualities, Microsoft further characterizes enterprise business applications by highlighting three specific attributes, which include:

  • Large A long-lived, multiuser, multideveloper, multimachine , multicomponent application that can manipulate massive data and utilize extensive parallel processing, network distributed resources, and complex logic, as well as be deployed across multiple platforms and interoperate with many other applications.

  • Business oriented To meet specific business requirements, the application encodes business policies, processes, rules, and entities, is developed in a business organization, and is deployed in a manner responsive to business needs.

  • Mission critical An enterprise business application must be robust enough to sustain continuous operations, be extremely flexible for scalability and deployment, and allow for efficient maintenance, monitoring, and administration.

Further noted is the difference in scope between enterprise applicationsfor example, multiuser, interactive, highly available architectures, and personal applications intended for single-user interactions. Although many PC applications function as the client in client/server architectures, and active code is commonly distributed to our client through Java or Java-like applications, they lack the distributed nature and high availability requirements previously stated.

Maintenance and Support Applications

Supporting large, highly available business applications and their infrastructures are numerous maintenance and support applications. These are implemented within support infrastructure areas. IT management must use these applications, often called tools and utilities, to maintain the mission-critical characteristics of enterprise applications. (More information on management practices and processes can be found in Chapter 21.)

It is important to differentiate between these two distinct types of applications, especially given the often confusing and misleading global use of the term application among software and hardware vendors . This difference is important due to IT organizational boundaries that focus IT specialties between the programming and design personnel, the people who develop and implement the business applications, and systems support and administration personnelthe people who support the infrastructure.

The maintenance and support applications have evolved to demonstrate the same non-linear performance that business applications do (see Chapter 1 for a refresher on this). Therefore, they can perform just as poorly and be just as degrading to the operations of the data center as their business counterparts. The support applications have the following distinct attributes:

  • Their results are focused upon supporting and maintaining server platforms and components that create a continuous operational infrastructure.

  • They enhance ITs abilities to maintain levels of reliability, availability, and serviceability for the data center and evolving Metro Data Areas.

  • The usage of support applications provides necessary information to maintain a scalable and manageable data center and Metro Data Area infrastructure.

The tools and products within these areas defined as storage management applications can be some of the most datacentric within the data center. They are defined by the following broad categories:

  • Archive/Backup/Recovery Provides IT with the tools to initiate data protection policies that copy data, provide recovery mechanisms, and move data to offline storage media.

  • Storage Resource Management Enhances the usage of resources that make up the storage infrastructure. These include utilities such as monitoring the activity of stored data, mechanisms, and the enforcement of online storage space quotas, as well as the collection of historical I/O system information and status.

  • Storage Data Management Complements the storage infrastructure with enhancements to file/systems, volume management strategies, fault tolerant mechanisms, and utilities such as online space data maintenance activities, defragmentation, optimization, and compression.

  • Storage Security A new category that has extended into the storage area from network user authentication and resource access technologies.

Although storage management applications are necessary in providing an organized and manageable environment, they are not business applications. The characteristics and base purposes of both are very different. While business applications automate and ultimately provide the process whereby the business runs (as well as directly impact overall business performance), storage management applications are considered necessary evils and maintenance overhead to business application processing and availability. Make no mistake, the evils of support tools and practices are a necessary cost of doing business, and when not managed effectively, they will impact business performance.

[1] Reference Microsoft Publication, Visual Studio - Developing for the Enterprise, Document No. DTX03-55298-0598

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Storage Networks
Storage Networks: The Complete Reference
ISBN: 0072224762
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 192 © 2008-2017.
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