Storage Management – Post Virtualization Era

As more server applications are running on virtual hardware than physical hardware you could understand why storage management has been on the top of the list for several organizations. Virtualization adoption has increased your organizations storage needs and has amplified the dependency on shared storage resources. As stated above not all storage is attached to your virtual environment however it is safe to say most organization are seeing 70-80% of storage requirements stemming from VMware/Hyper-V….So the question is how do you manage these storage requirements in a heterogeneous environment. Most Storage Array Vendors technologies offer reporting features out of the box. These reports and management tools will fit the needs of the organization that have drank the 1 vendor Kool-aid. However for those large organizations that have several vendor arrays in their data center using this silo approach might not benefit them.

So how do we begin to tackle Storage Management initiative? As most projects require funding the high level objective would typically state;

“Save time and reduce the number of IT workers needed to maintain our storage systems, allowing our organization to reduce overall storage operating costs.”

Now once we have upper management’s approval, what’s next? Not a simple task, it’s difficult to provide detailed instructions on how to install or how to use storage management technologies as different companies have different use cases. Highlighted below are a couple of use cases that could help you get started;

  • Storage management can also help improve a data center’s performance. For example, compression and technology can enable faster I/Os, and automatic storage provisioning can speed the process of assigning storage resources to various applications.
  • Virtualization and automation technologies can help an organization improve its agility. These storage management techniques make it possible to reassign storage capacity quickly as business needs change, reducing wasted space and improving a company’s ability to respond to evolving market conditions.
  • Storage management technologies, monitoring replication, mirroring and security, can help a data center improve its reliability and availability. IT departments often turn to these technologies for help in meeting SLAs or achieving compliance goals.

The long-term value of storage management depends on an integrated and heterogeneous solution. Successfully managing a virtual environment occurs when you can use the same—or better—processes that you use to manage the physical environment without added operational cost, complexity or staff. Therefore, a successful storage management solution needs to manage the physical environment while integrating the properties of virtual servers.

Key Benefits and Impacts of using a Storage Management Tool

  • Improved reporting and awareness about storage consumption
  • Reduced number of separate monitoring consoles and point tools
  • Increased storage utilization levels
  • Increased people efficiency
  • Increased availability of business services
  • Improved collaboration among IT groups

Dimensional Research offers an excellent Customer Reference Analysis to support your initiative - Six Ways to Improve Storage Management with HP . In my next post I will take a dive into HP’s Storage Essentials and demo the value of HP’s storage management solution.


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