Get Acquainted With Storage Resource Management - InformationWeek

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6/17/2010
03:42 PM
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Get Acquainted With Storage Resource Management

Storage resource management (SRM) sounds like one of those things that only an enterprise should worry about. But today, nothing could be further from the truth.

Storage resource management (SRM) sounds like one of those things that only an enterprise should worry about. But today, nothing could be further from the truth.First, growing data storage requirements demand more sophisticated data storage systems. A few years ago, for example, SANs and storage virtualization were targeted almost exclusively at enterprises. Now, they're mainstream technologies for midsized firms, and even some smaller companies find them cost-effective.

But adding flexible storage systems also means adding flexible storage management systems. And that's where SRM proves its value.

Here's how one recent summary of the topic described the value of SRM:

"...For data storage managers, SRM tools offer the important ability to have detailed capacity reporting. That includes change management and chargeback. This focus is crucial today, said Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Bob Laliberte, as data storage environments become increasingly more dynamic and "cloud-like."

The key word here is "dynamic." If your company uses a storage solution with thin provisioning, for example, knowing when to assign more storage isn't just important -- it's the difference between smooth sailing and stormy seas.

Don't Miss: NEW! Storage How-To Center

Also keep in mind that the best SRM works, as the article puts it, like a "manager of managers." That's because a multi-vendor solution can get hung up on management tools that see a part of the big picture -- namely, that part involving a particular vendor's products -- without seeing all of it.

That doesn't make SRM a good fit for every SMB. If your storage infrastructure is small, or even if it's large but deals with highly predictable demand, then it may not be a good investment. And while SRM, like so many storage technologies, is getting cheaper, it can still be one of the more expensive pieces of a storage networking solution.

But if you're managing a growing, multi-vendor storage infrastructure, you can't afford to ignore storage resource management. It's not a well-known technology, but that doesn't make it any less important for SMBs.

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