SD2003: Aligning storage management tools with operational processes

Rich Friedman, features editor, Storage, and Michele Hope, Senior site editor

Stephen Foskett, a senior consultant at GlassHouse Technologies, took the stage at Storage Decisions recently to present an elaborate matrix of SRM tools and how they map to the various storage management processes he's identified.

Foskett first admitted end users have it tough when it comes to deciding on the best storage management tools for their needs. Just sorting out the dizzying array of options available from the over 114 storage management products he identified in the marketplace was hard enough.

This effort is complicated by the fact that many storage management tools have overlapping features and confusing names, he said. Storage resource management (SRM) to one vendor, for example, may mean something different than it does to another.

To understand which tools are best for your environment, Foskett believed it makes more sense to look at storage management from a different perspective and really evaluate the requirements of your business. One way to do so is to ask such questions as, "What tasks do I need to perform?" and "How will this product help me?"

As part of Foskett's recent storage management research, he shared a sophisticated matrix of SRM tools and functions. In the matrix, he identified 67 discrete storage management tasks performed in today's enterprise storage environment.

Foskett also shared a method for attendees to map specific storage management tasks and activities required to 11 categories of functions he identified

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as being performed by various storage management software packages today.

According to Foskett, the 11 functions performed by storage management software include:

  • Accounting
  • Application management
  • Asset management
  • Capacity planning
  • Configuration management
  • Device management
  • Information lifecycle management (ILM)
  • Performance management
  • Provisioning
  • SAN design
  • SAN management

Foskett's related presentation slides and other links to the full session proceedings are available here.

About the speaker: Stephen Foskett is a senior consultant, storage management strategies and integration at Glasshouse Technologies.

This was first published in September 2003

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