Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa

If You Store It, They Will Come

Field of Dreams, Dyersville, IowaDo you remember the movie, Field of Dreams? I’d like to put a twist on the famous line from the movie, “if you build it he will come.” This is for my friends who are responsible for their corporate networks and the movement of large amounts of data stored in various data centers around the world: “if you store it they will come.” And come they surely will.

If you saw the movie, you saw a line of cars with headlights on, jamming the road to get to the baseball field. That’s not unlike how your network is when you have a successful business with tons of data for remote users to download, or when you backup and replicate that data across the WAN.

Imagine though, if Kevin Costner was able to ease the pain of those families that were literally crawling on the road by optimizing car loads and effectively expanding the road, allowing everyone to get to the ballpark quickly. That is essentially what WAN optimization does, with data storage for enterprises looking to extend the performance and lower the costs of data replication and backups over WANs. Some WAN optimization vendors have unique partnerships with storage vendors, integrating storage technology into WAN optimization products, and vice versa. Their customers benefit by supporting their geographically-distributed data centers and delivering LAN-like performance over cost-efficient networks over long distances.

This combined solution removes the barriers for distributing and dynamically sharing information between data centers, while reducing WAN bandwidth consumption, accelerating the mobility of applications, and reducing WAN costs. Enterprises can now take full advantage of moving data anywhere by eliminating distance limitations between source/target devices, maintaining redundant data centers for failover, eliminating expensive dedicated networks for data replication, and avoiding bandwidth upgrades.

OK, I’m going to stretch this analogy a little bit further to make a point about virtualization, as it is becoming so important for making IT resources cost-effective and quickly available (e.g. virtual machine migration, etc.). I remember watching the movie Field of Dreams and in the back of my mind was the knowledge that the field was real, but the players were not. You might say they were virtual. What was fascinating was the blending of the real Costner, his family and the field, with the virtual players. Together, they created magic and an amusing and mysterious vision.

Virtualization is extremely crucial for enterprises in order to be dynamic and responsive to the ever-changing business environment. It is vital technology for remaining competitive, and the WAN optimization/storage combo will make the job of managing IT resources even easier by bringing dramatic cost savings and increased flexibility to ensure “anytime, anywhere” data mobility and availability around the world.

OK. Forget the tie-in with the movie. Does this joint solution make sense to you? Are you dealing with data centers that backup and replicate data, and support remote users? Feel free to weigh-in and share some of your thoughts.

Image credit: Justin Brockie (flickr)

About the author
Marc Goodman