Special Report

Improved storage resource management tools may deserve second chance from IT shops

Plenty of IT shops have rejected storage resource management (SRM) tools in the past because of the cost and the complexity of implementing them. But many of those same organizations may need to reconsider storage resource management software as they confront the challenge of managing their expanding storage environments on tight budgets.

SRM tools can help organizations gain visibility and insight with an eye toward improving their storage utilization rates. The major tools offer a wide range of capabilities, including reporting on storage usage, capacity planning, data storage performance analysis, problem alerts, provisioning and device configuration.

One of the latest trends in storage resource management is the integration of the tools with major system management frameworks and data center automation and orchestration tools. NetApp Inc., for instance, recently announced an integration initiative with BMC Software Inc., a major system management vendor.

In the meantime, three trends in the storage resource management software market took shape over the last 12 to 18 months that might provide IT shops with enough reason to give existing SRM tools another look. Read up on these trends to determine whether or not you should revisit SRM tools for your shop. Then, find out why your primary storage vendor might not offer the best SRM tool, and listen to a podcast on what recent improvements in SRM software means for storage managers.

Storage resource management software trends: Affordability, ease of use, extended support

Three important trends within the SRM software market have made the product class more appealing than just a few years ago. First, the products are getting cheaper, owing to good, inexpensive third-party tools and big discounts from primary storage suppliers. Second, SRM software is trending toward an agentless architecture, making them easier to implement and use. Finally, the products are gaining better support for virtual environments and have a broader view into network components. Read the full story on SRM software trends.

Primary vendors' SRM tools may not be best choice for IT shops seeking storage resource management

IT organizations looking for SRM tools will often first look to the software of their primary storage vendors, but they may find those products aren't the best or the lowest-cost option, especially if their needs are limited. Features, price and ease of use are among the key criteria in the choice of tool. Learn how four IT shops -- Sabre Holdings, Kawasaki Motors, a federal government agency and the state of Mississippi -- weighed these supplier-related factors in their decision of SRM software tools. Get the full story on primary vendors' SRM tools.

SRM tools: More agentless options, quicker ROI

While SRM software is designed to save companies money by delivering a better view into storage resources, newer generations of the technology promise a faster ROI than in the past; as they get easier to implement and use, a quicker ROI becomes possible. In this podcast interview, Valdis Filks, Gartner Inc.'s research director for storage technologies and strategies, discusses how the SRM product class has improved over the past few years and what those changes mean to end users. Listen to the full podcast on the improvements in SRM tools.

This was first published in September 2010

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