Enterprise-class file systems need far more than convenience and efficiency to be considered adequate support for enterprise OLTP, data warehouse, Internet, and complex batch operations. The following are some of the global requirements that should be addressed by any enterprise-class file system and the issues they raise:
Security Limiting user access to files and exercising control over sensitive physical resourcessuch as volumes and system filescontinue to be the two major requirements for security within file systems. This has become cumbersome as multiple and often duplicate security functions are offered by both file and database systems. From the storage perspective, there exists a lack of effective and integrated resource security and control functions that are available within the storage infrastructure components .
Data Recovery Disasters, both large and small, are going to occur. The ability to recover in a timely fashion has long been a requirement, as databases become systems of record for both large and small enterprises . This, however, becomes more sophisticated and complex as recovery functions for databases differ from recovery functions for file systems which, in turn , differ from the recovery system of an entire application.
Fault Resiliency/Tolerance This is the timely part of the recovery requirement. Most notably, the requirement that says you have to be up for 24/7. Although a noble thought, the reality of keeping an enterprise system available in this manner does not exist yet. Having said that, however, the functionality to repair and recover from most hardware failures without disrupting the application can be accomplished at various levels. The problem continues to be that enterprise application systems are likened to living entities that consume resources, and many of these are just temporary and need to be refreshed from time to time. Secondly, the ability to design and place card-holders (for lack of a better term ) in the processing time frames has failed to mature with the sophisticated hardware/recovery systems available today.
24/7 systems have existed for some time in mainframe configurations, with full redundancy at various levels. However, as data centers migrate their operations from the mainframe to open systems using commodity-based platforms, additional levels of maturity must evolve before open system hardware and software provide the same levels of desired fault tolerance.
Support for Advanced Storage Systems and Application Requirements Last, but certainly not least, is the support for future enhancements to disk drives , disk formats, tape, and so on. Theres no question that this is an important factor given that databases and file systems are closely tied to their storage relatives and must keep up. The typical IT oversight in this requirement concerns the effects that support of back level software (for instance, file systems and databases) has on hardware manufacturers. Although it looks altruistic on the outside, inefficiencies develop when this continues for any length of time.