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In addition to a lack of people, many managers are coping with dwindling power supplies. The precipitous buildup of capacity over the last few years is starting to have an impact on available power resources; some shops don't have enough juice to keep everything spinning, while others know that continued growth will ultimately outstrip their resources. And even when electricity is abundant, its spiraling cost is cause for real concern as, according to some reports, storage accounts for as much as 40% of IT's total electricity tab.
Although data center floor space is often thematically linked with power issues--as in you're running out of both--many managers say they have plenty of raised-floor space because storage is getting smaller and denser. So in the same footprint, newer systems can accommodate more and larger disks than older arrays. But that becomes less of an issue if the power to run/cool them is in short supply or prohibitively expensive.
People and power may be the two most critical issues facing storage managers today. There's not too much concern about storage technologies, as capacities are rising, performance is improving and even management is getting a little easier. But vendors need to get serious about power efficiencies ... and not just by slapping the word "green" on an existing product because some obscure metric gives it an edge over a competitor's product.
On the staffing side, taking storage out of the IT shadows should attract
Drop me a line and tell me how you're dealing with your power or staffing issues.
This was first published in July 2007