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Different admin roles

Jim,

This probably overlaps with an earlier question but I've a query about the roles of an administrator.

There's a lot of "empire building" at my place at the moment and the storage roles are being caught in the crossfire. My manager has asked me to define the exact roles and responsibilities for storage administration. Where does the system administrator stop and the storage guy take over? (Different managers, hence the evaluation!) The role itself has never been defined before as it sort of grew out of the mainframe support roles and we've tried to keep it along the same lines. Anything historic we haven't touched (yet) but anything attached to the SAN we manage up to the HBA and any new backups. But what about allocating space at the user/operating system level, restoring files for users, etc. We do this on the mainframe but the server support teams currently do this on Unix/NT/AIX.

What do you find sites doing? Are there storage teams or is it just spread amongst server support? Where there are separate entities, what rolls/responsibilities are undertaken?


 

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I find that most sites are adding the responsibility of storage management to their existing systems administrator's list of tasks. You can see my previous answer with regard to storage tasks.

At large sites (100+ TB), I am seeing storage broken out of the system administration responsibilities. System administrators are being used to support the OS, applications and network but when it comes to databases and file systems, the storage administrator takes over. Of course there are overlapping responsibilities but I've seen that the system administrator does most of the hands-on work while the storage administrator defines data layout/placement, recommends new storage hardware/software and interfaces with the application owners and DBAs.

Another interesting trend as storage networking matures is that network personnel are taking on storage tasks. When you at look the acceptance of NAS, this is a logical extension.

Jim

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This was first published in June 2002

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