So we're into the first month of a new year, and already it feels different than the last few -- at least in how we will manage storage going forward. What's changing? Clearly, we've become a lot more concerned about elements of the data lifecycle then we might have been in previous years. In the last three months, I've had growing questions from storage administrators and architects about what "Information Lifecycle Management" really means. And OK, let's be clear about this -- we are still very much kicking the tires on this new storage deployment model and vendor marketing push.A number of customers, like yourself, are re-examining how to organize their storage environments. They are looking for ways to tier storage based on service levels and data value, to improve the management of the data lifecycle, and to consider ways to establish storage as a utility. And those storage projects you haven't had budget or bandwidth for in past years are getting new attention, and you're starting to research which vendors, technologies and best practices will fit the bill to roll these projects out. So, as you get settled in and continue down the road to better managing your storage environment, I've complied some predictions and some general New Year's Resolutions.
First iterations of Information Lifecycle Management from vendors in 2004 will not meet customer expectations or apply to many real world problems. It will take a year or more
Work less. Many of you storage administrators and architects have to manage more data with less staff. (And, in my case as a new dad, it is mandatory to cut back work-time). That's why automation tools are starting to make more sense to handle provisioning, monitoring and other routine storage operations.Automate more. I've said this a few times in columns and presentations, but we all need to assess how we manage different parts of the storage operations. Could you automate SAN management tools, storage provisioning, backup procedures, and basic storage array monitoring? Stop saying, "This is the way we have always done it…" Change is good. Define data classes of service. This is proving to be a core step to any storage management strategy -- not only for data retention strategies, but any pilots or early deployments around building storage utilities. Ask harder questions. It is time you pushed back on preferred vendors and told them where they are not meeting your needs, including explaining and delivering Information Lifecycle Management.
What's your New Year's resolution for how you manage your storage? Email me at email@example.com
For more information:Advice: 2004 storage management predictions: It's time for SM software to deliver
Advice: 2004 NAS predictions: NAS gateways and data center growth
Advice: 2004 storage management predictions: Management tools proliferate, iSCSI & ILM abound
About the author: Jamie Gruener is a SearchStorage.com expert and the primary analyst focused on the server and storage markets for the Yankee Group, an industry analyst firm in Boston, Mass. Jamie's coverage area includes storage management, storage best practices, storage systems, storage networking and server technologies. Ask him your storage management questions today.
This was first published in January 2004