Storage is just one of three main technology resources being virtualized into such pools via provisioning technology. But though requirements for the other two--computing power and network connectivity--are expected to increase or decrease dynamically based on workload, storage needs are likely to grow steadily, according to IT professionals. "Processing and network needs can go up and down 20 percent or 30 percent," says Paul Mercurio, senior vice president and CIO of Mobil Travel Guide in Park Ridge, Ill. "In storage, all we do is go up."
Mobil Travel Guide, a spin-off of ExxonMobil, worked with IBM Global Services to build a Linux infrastructure in an IBM mainframe that allows IT resources to be turned on and off, albeit with a delay of about a day, which Mercurio says he can live with. The company pays for its storage allocation on an as-needed basis, and its requirement is growing fast as services are added. "When we need more, we just call IBM and, boom, it's there," Mercurio says.
For some companies looking to provide on-demand storage to clients or staff, a storage infrastructure that uses provisioning technologies is proving to be a successful investment. BlueStar Solutions, a Cupertino, Calif., firm that outsources services based on applications such as J.D. Edwards, Oracle and SAP to customers on a charge-back basis, has found pooling storage resources among its clients the best way to manage those resources.
Storage Purchasing Methods
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