The phrase Storage management, or Storage Resource Management (SRM) is a general storage industry term used to describe the tools, processes, and policies used to manage storage networks and storage services such as virtualization, replication, mirroring, security, compression, traffic analysis, and other services. The phrase also encompasses other storage technologies, such as process automation, storage management and real-time infrastructure products, and storage provisioning. With the volume of data being produced and stored within organizations growing at a rapid rate, managing that data and the hardware that stores it can be a major headache.
Enterprise Storage Forum has been covering storage management for more than a decade. In this "Coping With Storage Management" featured article, Leslie C Wood, a regular Enterprise Storage Forum contributor, offers an overview of the basics of storage management technologies and solutions being used today.
How to Cope with Storage Management
In the not so distant past, physical storage was dedicated to individual servers, and storage management was a part-time job for system administrators. Because of this, data storage could not be shared across applications, and the amount of storage that could be managed by one employee was extremely limited. Companies began to address this problem through dedicated storage management teams, a concept that has continued with the complexity of networked storage. But are dedicated storage teams for everyone?
Many larger enterprises have found that they can deal with constant storage management tasks by attacking them with storage-only personnel, but owners of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have fewer resources and understandably have doubts whether the concept of a dedicated storage team could work for them. IT generalists tend to be where it's at for SMBs.
Enterprises need to choose storage management technologies that are designed specifically for utility services. This means carefully considering the solutions available and choosing the one that helps them deliver great service responsiveness while simultaneously cutting the TCO — or achieving more with less. The storage solution must be simple to manage, must improve storage capacity utilization and must be easy to scale. Mistakes that many organizations make is that they attempt to use traditional or legacy storage products as the foundation for a new utility storage environment, which can create major problems.