by Randy Kerns
Perspective on Storage Resource Management
It is a given that Information Technology professionals understand the need for managing storage resources and performance. The problem has been that it is neither easy nor inexpensive. The tools available are very sophisticated and that is the basis of a problem limiting their use in many mid-size organizations. These tools are complicated to use and lead to a requirement for training in the tool usage. They also require regularly scheduling administrator time assigned to use it for collecting and reviewing information in order to make informed decisions and retain familiarity with the tool. There is also the added task of administration for the tool itself as a critical application for IT with frequent updates and configuration changes. With restricted personnel budgets, administrators in IT have increasingly been asked to take on more responsibilities and priorities. Because storage resource management tools entail extra work, they are not widely used in these mid-size environments. Quite simply, there is no time to dedicate to a complicated tool that must be in regular usage.
The cost of storage resource management tools has also been an issue. These sophisticated tools require an investment by the vendor to develop and support them. With the level of complexity, the pool of potential customers is reduced to only the large enterprise organizations with dedicated storage administrators. This has led to a relatively expensive cost for these tools.
All these impediments mean that the majority of customers have not had the benefit of using storage resource management tools. The expected benefits delivered by optimizing the environment, predicting resource consumption, and determining the source of performance issues cannot easily be obtained without the advanced management tools. Yet, whenever there is a performance issue that cannot be simply identified or there is a capacity issue, the need for such tools again becomes evident.
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