How do you begin the process of writing a request for proposal (RFP) for storage resource management (SRM) products? According to Jamie Gruener, Senior Analyst at the Yankee Group, you approach it the same way you would write an RFP for other parts of storage operation. At Storage Decisions 2003 in Chicago, Gruener outlined the necessary steps in his discussion about creating RFPs for SRM products.
To begin with, you need to decide what SRM can actually do for your organization, and then decide if it's even necessary. For many companies, SRM features such as capacity planning tools, mapping growth and performance analysis are highly desirable.
In fact, Gruener claimed that SRM will not only be a standalone capacity planning function, but it will also seep into many other aspects of storage such as backups, replication and infrastructure management. Gruener also said he feels that the inevitable step for SRM is to converge with SAN Management and provide complete tools for the management of a storage network.
Since there might be some shifting and integration in this market it's crucial you do your homework before making a selection. Plus, once you do choose a product, you'll be stuck with it for many years to come.
Before floating a full-blown RFP, Gruener encourages you to send out a request for information (RFI) to help you determine the pool of possibilities. Also, Gruener advised that it's key to determine which SRM functions and that you think carefully about cost, architecture, vendor support, ease of use and quality of reporting.
Finally, when writing an RFP, it's important (as customers of BMC found out) to make sure the companies that are offering SRM solutions are economically viable.
Read Gruener's full presentation what the 5 "gotchas" are when coming up with an SRM RFP strategy.
Presentation slides and other links to the full session proceedings are available here.
About the speaker: Jamie Gruener is a senior analyst covering the storage and server markets for the Yankee Group's Enterprise Computing and Networking Planning Service. Gruener's expertise includes helping storage and server suppliers position themselves to meet the needs of enterprise and carrier customers. He also works with enterprise customers to determine the best technology solution to meet business objectives, especially analyzing new technology and strategy adoption. Mr. Gruener's research focuses on evolving trends such as storage virtualization, storage networking standards, disaster recovery and business continuity strategies, storage management techniques, carrier integration of storage technology, content distribution, server technologies and the storage service provider market.