Sun Fire 3800-6800 Servers Dynamic Reconfiguration
The rapid growth of enterprise storage capacity for distributed computing systems must, necessarily, be mirrored by its rapid growth in its cost. If an enterprise storage organization has been growing its open-system distributed storage capacity at a rate of 100% per year, it must be assumed that the budget for this new capacity is likely growing at a similar rate.
If you compound this growth year over year, you can reasonably expect the cost of supporting this growth may, at sometime, become untenable. While megabytes may be cheap, terabytes and larger capacities are not. When it comes to managing storage, the key word is efficiency. It is not hard to buy and implement multiple terabytes of distributed storage (many organization have already done this), but it is hard and very costly to manage them.
An enterprise storage organization and the businesses that it serves must discipline themselves to maintain best storage practices to ensure maximum value and operational efficiencies from their distributed storage resources. For this reason, the implementation of storage resource management should be considered as an important part of any model for enterprise-level distributed storage. Whether these resources are locally attached or within complex switched matrices, the need for a unified and informed management practice has never been greater.
Organizations that have relied on the diligence of either central or syndicated storage management organizations using largely manual processes to do their job must now seriously consider the operational gains and subsequent return-on-investment they can obtain by implementing a storage resource management solution to assist them in maximizing their management practices.
In this document, storage resource management (SRM) systems and best practices are discussed, with a particular focus on the positive impact that SRM can have on controlling costs related to storage management by increasing operational efficiency within enterprise storage infrastructures.
Best Practice Principles for Storage
The operational and economic efficiency of any enterprise storage organization is a by-product of its storage best practices. Without the definition and adherence to these practices, no enterprise storage organization can hope to lower the risks associated with implementing and administering large distributed storage infrastructures. The definitions of storage best practices are not within the scope of this paper; however, the following principles do apply:
Enterprise storage should be available and reliable.
Enterprise storage should have acceptable performance.
Enterprise storage should be scalable.
Enterprise storage should fit into the backup strategy of the environment.
Enterprise storage should have an acceptable total-cost-of-ownership (TCO).
These principles require practices that can be monitored to ensure conformity. An enterprise storage organization must gauge its success as an organization by monitoring all of the managed storage resources for conformity to these storage best practices and their defining principles.
SRM provides the management layer from which policy-based storage management becomes possible. Without this management layer, there is no way for you to gauge, nor expect compliance with, storage best practices. With its ability to monitor, inform, define, and enforce processes and practices that support the principles of storage best practices, SRM is itself a best practice for managing enterprise distributed storage infrastructures.