Enterprise Storage is basically computer storage on a grand scale. Before understanding the concept of enterprise storage, let us first go through an overview of the basic computer storage.
A computer storage is a component of a computer which records certain media and store the data digitally to be used for computing at some other time. Aside from the purpose of storing data, an enterprise storage is also responsible for storage for online random access storage and data protection, backup for offline sequential access storage and data protection, archiving offline storage contents, and disaster recovery.
An enterprise storage within a business organization is typically not implemented within one computer storage only. In fact, it is scattered across several high end computers and data may even be redundantly stored. This is because business data is always critical for everyday operations.
Having more than one storage can ensure that if one of the data storage fails, there will always be a ready back up. If there was no back up, any failure could mean that the whole system will fail and the whole business operation will temporarily come to a halt. In big business most especially, a temporary halt could mean loss in large amounts of money from revenues.
Because of the scattered nature of data storage within the whole enterprise storage, a network is installed to connect the different data storage computers. A network administrator works in close collaboration with the enterprise storage administrator to overcome pressure arising from providing secure and resilient storage to users, group and computer resources within a multi-platform heterogeneous environment. Some of the network protocols used in an enterprise storage are CIFS, NFS, HTTP/DAV, FTP, iSCSI.
Because of the complexity of setting up and managing an enterprise storage, there are many software applications specifically designed for enterprise storage management.
A storage archive manager is features functionalities such as automatically back up data from work which are in progress. While back up, it offers some degree or complete transparency to both the users and the application. It takes care of all archive files and complete file systems which can be written on multiple server platforms in a heterogeneous environment. It can even operate with servers on other off-site locations with added security for protection.
An enterprise back up software functions as an automating tool for easy backup, recovery, and storage management services on many system within the network. It also integrates various disparate platforms, applications software and operation systems such as UNIX, NetWare, Microsoft Windows NT, or Apple Macintosh systems.
An enterprise storage operations manager application software offers integrated, heterogeneous and open storage area for management. An administrator for an enterprise storage will not have to worry with dealing with various kinds of enterprise storage software tools because everything is already integrated and comes with an easy to use graphical interface. It become easy for the administrator to monitor in one place and easily spots any problem within the many nodes of the storage network.
An enterprise storage could very well work in conjunction with a data warehouse. But whereas a data warehouse is in nature very dynamic as it deals with both historical and current transactional data.
An enterprise storage may be tasked to contain data which are not activity used at any moment and the data warehouse will only fetch data as need arises. But nevertheless, companies should invest on very stable and robust data storage hardware to prevent any problem from data integrity, security and availability.