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Run storage as a utility

Ezine

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Six tips for running a successful storage utility
Set goals. From the get-go, have a plan in place that includes the end goal. Because it may take years to replace storage silos, it's crucial to define a timeframe for each of the existing storage silos to be replaced with centrally managed storage.

Money matters. Letting storage users know how much storage costs is critical; otherwise, storage is assumed to be free and wasteful storage usage will continue.

Define processes. Well-defined processes that govern all aspects of the centralized storage service are a must when offering storage as a utility.

Always on. High availability and sufficient redundancy that ensures continuous service are imperative.

Consolidate management. A storage management application that provides a single way for all storage administrators to perform storage management tasks is a key ingredient to running storage like a utility.

Virtualize it. Harness virtualization to allow easy scaling of storage services.


Changing job functions
Negotiating with business

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units and departments is a crucial factor when migrating to centralized storage services. Converting from a distributed to a centralized storage architecture is typically initiated by the IT organization, mainly for budgetary or compliance reasons, or as an initiative to streamline and simplify storage management. "It was the main role of our CIO to work out the ROI, sell it to the executive staff and, once approved, negotiate service-level agreements [SLAs] with department heads and users," reports Mark Deck, senior VP of technology, National Medical Health Card (NMHC) Systems Inc., Port Washington, NY.

This was first published in December 2007

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