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When creating a storage service, the first step is to decide on what entries the service catalog should include based on customer requirements (see "A sample storage service catalog," below). The service catalog is usually divided into two parts: internal catalog entries that are viewable and available to order by internal IT groups, and external catalog entries that are for groups outside of IT.
Click here to get a PDF of the Sample Storage Service Catalog.
Service-level requirements should specify what's required from the service, the availability of the service and security levels; the time to deliver objectives should also be included. For a storage service that includes backup, NAS, SAN and data archiving, attributes that are important to the service customer are time to deliver, performance, recovery point objectives (RPOs), recovery time objectives (RTOs) and cost; all should be detailed in a catalog for the service. The storage function should play a major role in helping to define these attributes.
The majority of the service catalog won't be available to the end users, but will be used by other services. For example, a server hosting service may include SAN options for an end user requiring large amounts of storage. The designer of the hosting service needs to be aware of how storage service attributes such as availability, RPO, RTO and performance affect the hosting service attributes.
Service design: The storage function also plays an important role in the service design phase of the service lifecycle. Based on service-level requirements, the storage function is required to create the plans on how storage-specific requirements will be achieved. The results of the service design phase are a service design package that should include details on the end state of the storage solution. Guidance on how to transition the storage service components to operations should be a part of the service-level design package.
Service transition: In the service transition phase, the service design package is implemented and set into operation. Following proper change management and deployment principles, the storage function prepares service desk and level-1 and level-2 storage support teams with proper diagnostics and maintenance schedule procedures. The storage team also maintains the service and technical documentation that supports the storage components. The team will take the lead in coordinating storage system changes as dictated by the service design package, while also owning the relationships with the outside storage vendors and service providers.
Another focus of ITIL is process and service commonality. ITIL describes the attributes of change, request fulfillment, capacity, event, availability, problem, incident, and configuration and asset management processes, as well as the attributes of a service. An important part of moving to a service model is mapping the various processes and service roles to the storage functional teams.
This was first published in August 2010