Modular Approach to Rugged COTS Data Storage SelectionDownload PDF
Data storage plays a key role in Defense and Aerospace deployed data gathering system applications. Data gathering and storage device components must frequently be deployed in harsh military environments onboard platforms such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and armored vehicles, all of which require a high level of system ruggedness. Data storage devices on these platforms are used to store critical and valuable data captured from sensors or subsystems during a mission or operational exercises. The valuable data captured in the field is often sensitive and must be protected from unauthorized access both during and after the mission. Once the mission is completed, the captured data typically needs to be transported from the platform to a different location, such as a ground station, for analysis or safekeeping. Transporting the data usually involves removable, rugged storage units. When the transported data requires some level of security, data encryption may also be required.
This white paper will provide guidelines for selecting the appropriate rugged Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) data storage solution for use in various types of data gathering applications. These solutions typically require the use of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, the choice of which is influenced by current and anticipated future needs of the particular application. This paper also provides guidance on utilizing a modular approach for building a data storage system that, while acknowledging possible tradeoffs, ensures the solution's scalability and provides flexibility for expansion.
Key Data Storage Parameters
The data storage component of a military system, whether for a new system design or one being upgraded, is usually a part of a larger system and is thus dependent on the functionality requirements of the overall system in which it resides. The following section provides an overview of the key parameters that form the basis of data storage solution selection.
A typical rugged data storage system consists of a data storage chassis, one or more data storage units, a set of I/O modules, and optional encryption modules for those cases where the data needs to be secured or classified. Defining the right mix of parameters can become a complex problem. This paper discusses some of the high-level factors that must be considered during selection of a data storage solution and reviews the inter-dependencies between these factors.