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Maybe it isn't so surprising that with growing capacities, shrinking backup windows and virtual servers gobbling all the disk in sight, data storage managers aren't very keen on adding a new application even if it might help them manage the whole mess. The overarching storage resource management (SRM) tool, once thought to be a sort of Holy Grail for storage shops, is being used by only 15% of the respondents in our latest Snapshot survey. Another 22% have opted for more specialized management products that address specific issues, but most are content to use whatever came with their hardware, Excel spreadsheets or homegrown management apps. Whatever their tool of choice is, it seems to be adequate; 49% said their tools are usually effective enough and 25% called them "helpful" but not able to replace all their manual processes. Eighteen percent said their management tools met their needs completely, while 8% said their apps were so disappointing they don't rely on them at all. Among the shops not using any management tools, 53% felt their setups weren't complex enough to warrant special apps, and 18% cited cost as the reason for their reluctance. Twenty percent of our respondents admitted to the classic failed-SRM scenario: they purchased the management software but never used it.
"We have developed a number of in-house tools and applications over the years . . . These tend to be far more platform-agnostic and customizable than anything a single storage vendor can produce."
-- Survey respondent
BIO: Rich Castagna (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.
This was first published in December 2010