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What should a storage team do?
The next step is to define specific responsibilities and activities. The basic responsibility of a storage management team--regardless of team size--is to ensure the daily operations of the storage network. This includes, at a minimum:
- Backup and recovery
- Maintaining the storage area network (SAN) fabric and arrays
- Implementing new devices
- Performance monitoring
- Capacity monitoring and load balancing
The degree that storage personnel are involved in these responsibilities vary, and is related more to reporting structures and the organization of companies' IT groups than to the size of the storage team. For example, Bruce Hall, a senior storage architect at a major financial services and health care company, says that while the company has a storage staff of approximately 15 people, storage capacity planning is handled by a group that works with the business units to develop capacity plans for all computing systems. Larger companies like Hall's enjoy the advantages of having proportionally large storage staffs, where the degree of specialization is much greater than in modestly sized groups.
- Proactive monitoring
- Developing more advanced diagnostic techniques
- Automating restore operations
- Advanced capacity planning
- Conducting storage architecture reviews
- Using topology renderings to determine connectivity issues and capabilities
Even when its not responsible for making the final decisions on budget expenditures, a storage team typically plays an advisory role in determining budgets. This may involve analyzing requests from business units, assessing the costs and making recommendations.
This was first published in May 2004