Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Serious Storage

By Steve Jones,

Years ago I worked for a company that had a Novell network. We had a multi-server environment with lots of users and were having issues with both space and users. We bought a Netframe server, packed with 350MB drives and a limited edition 1000 user version of Netware v3.11. This was also the time when I got to use my C-language experience, writing a login utility that would handle our user IDs above 250 on Netware since that was the limit for all of our other servers.

That server, which cost something like $280,000 in 1991 was the biggest one on our network, with something like 8GB of storage. That seems like a pittance today, especially compared with the sale EMC just made. The Vatican is getting 2.8PB of storage from EMC for its library. EMC is also providing consulting services to digitize some of the historic manuscripts and documents that have been deteriorating from user and handling.  It's an ambitious 9-year project, of which this is just the first 3 years.

That's a serious amount of storage, and while most of it will be used for raw, unstructured storage of images, some will have to house a database. There will be the equally critical part of cataloging and organizing the meta data about these documents into some type of database. I don't know if this will be a relational or some other store, but without some database that keeps track of what each image represents and how to retrieve it, it's entirely possible that these documents might get lost, in the same manner they may be lost in physical storage today.

The scale of this project somewhat astounds me. Going from MB and GB to thinking about PB and EB is something many of us will deal with over the next decade as our organizations gather, store, and manage more and more data. Perhaps a few of us will get to work on some interesting projects like this one that look to preserve valuable knowledge from our past.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy.

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there. Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at

You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Total article views: 123 | Views in the last 30 days: 2
Related Articles

Whitepaper: SQL Server 2005 Physical Database Storage Design

Microsoft has released a whitepaper on SQL Server 2005 Physical Database Storage Design (Microsoft ...


Database Server Documentation

"Database Server Documentation" samples ot templates


SQL Server Storage

This is a short post on SQL Server storage best practice and what i have learned over the years… Muc...


Running a document database on Sql Server

Running a document database on Sql Server. Since Microsoft is slow to come out with a product of ...


Tiered Storage

Storage costs are constantly rising, especially for databases as we gather more and more data. Howev...


Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones