I am working in the health care environment in the IT department. We are looking at data storage management for five hospitals. What is your advice for storage networking and what should we be concerned with before starting this project?
Each hospital has it own application and file servers so should we be looking at a data center for these hospitals?
Consolidation for your storage environment probably has the best long-term economic advantages. Putting in a storage network allows you to get better utilization of the capacity and to centralize the administration. I would suggest you work on a storage strategy on how to centralize the storage and to apply storage management techniques that will cover the next three to five years. Probably the most critical decision will be on the selection of the storage management software. That decision will live with you a long time and can be key to getting the most economic value and allowing future growth to not require corresponding administrative growth.
There are many developments underway with storage management software. There are good products out there now but there are many competitors and the products are improving dramatically over time. One of the main considerations is how well integrated the storage management software is. You really need to become more educated on storage networks and storage management software. Try to attend some unbiased (not presented by a vendor) seminars or some conferences and look at all the information. It's not simple but is necessary to make an effective decision.
Evaluator Group, Inc.
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This was first published in August 2002