Why consolidate? Because you likely have too many disparate storage systems and too many tools to keep track of right now.
Why automate? Because you really don't want to be doing the manual task you end up doing 80% of the week when you could be planning out capacity better and determining new strategies for better efficiency.
Why establish a storage utility? Because if you don't it is likely your
CTO at some point will come into your office and tell you that there is no
more money available to buy more management tools or even worse, that you
are out of a job. Think of ways to leverage your existing investment and
innovating where you can identify clear need -- establishing compliance
strategies for government regulations or determining how to better manage
business continuity programs. Storage management tools will increasingly
be integrated, so you need to consider which vendors you want to
standardize on and stick with them for a while.
This was first published in April 2003