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SRM tools struggle to meet today's demands

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Green metrics

Green storage resource management metrics have barely begun to take hold. "No customers are asking us for green storage metrics. There are not yet tools to expose that data," said Kalyan Ramanathan, HP's director of business service management. Aptare's Clark added: "Most storage components don't give power consumption. Even their APIs and CLIs don't give that information." Once storage vendors can expose that data, SRM tools will be able to grab it.

But some storage managers see potential benefits from gathering green metrics. "Take something like kilowatts/TB. Changes in a number like that could be an early predictor of a disk problem," said John Wonder, an independent storage consultant in San Mateo, Calif. Other storage-related energy metrics, such as energy cost per TB, he suggested, might be valuable in a large data center or in a location where energy availability is severely constrained.

What's in a name?

Given the emerging interest in new storage metrics and the growing use of virtualization, the storage resource management label is perhaps out of date. With interest in wide and deep end-to-end visibility, StorageIO Group's Schulz suggested that "SSRM" -- systems and storage resource management -- would be a more appropriate term in this virtualized IT era. Trying to monitor and measure storage performance without looking at switch ports and servers, both virtualized and physical, will be increasingly frustrating.

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BIO: Alan Radding is a frequent contributor to TechTarget sites.

This was first published in April 2010

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