Plugging the SRM holes

Mark Lewis

To manage storage experts say you need a central view of what your entire storage topology looks like. SearchStorage expert and Evaluator Group partner Randy Kerns spent some time at the recent DCI Storage Management summit talking about storage resource management (SRM) and where it stands today. Randy answered a few questions about how SRM will centralize storage, how it will better leverage skills of administrators, and help keep business goals in check. But, Kerns also tells us holes need to be filled before a complete SRM answer is brought to market.

SearchStorage: Randy, SRM is still in it's early stages, what advances need to take place for it to mature, and be considered for widespread adoption?

Randy Kerns: [SRM] needs to have a repository that has some degree of standardization -- standards in practice -- with the ability to have different elements access it. This will need to be an agreement between several of the major vendors.

[SRM] needs to be more integrated -- where backup/restore, storage network management, and top level frameworks work seamlessly and install easily. This will require externalized interfaces via APIs with the individual elements and the use of the repository. All the hype about CIM and Bluefin is just another piece of how to communicate -- there will still be APIs needed and the repository. CIM probably won't be successful because it will take too long to get agreement.


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Some of the problems you've mentioned with SRM are overlapping functionalities and interoperability. Is this something vendors need to address? Or is this something users can impact?

Kerns: Overlapping functionality is a problem and needs to be solved by vendors with the integration of different elements. Customers will ultimately influence this by purchasing from vendors that solve the problem.

SearchStorage: What are the key benefits you see coming from a total SRM package? Do you think it will have to come from one vendor?

Kerns: A total SRM package from one vendor would make the installation and administration much easier but probably won't be "complete" from one vendor. Complete in a sense that SRM includes backup/restore, life-cycle data management, and links to databases and a single vendor probably can't satisfy every customer's needs or desires here.

Aside from Randy's advice, SearchStorage has a number of other SRM resources that can help you beef up your overall storage management. Take a look...

Storage resource management policies: Do you need them?
Michele's picks on SAM, SRM and SAN management
Technology Report: SRM tools HELP get storage under control

Ask The Experts: Are there any tools or applications that analyze actual data usage in order to establish real time usage?
Featured Topic: Storage Management 2002

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