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Storage Resource Management

M. Nicolett and C. Claps state that "The SRM infrastructure is a complementary set of products, standards, and procedures that provide reporting, analysis, and automated management of physical and logical storage availability, capacity, configuration and performance."1

With a robust SRM system in place, you can view, trend, report on, and proactively manage both the logical and physical resources that comprise an enterprise storage stack. This functionality is imperative to maintain successful links between businesses and the technology groups that serve them. Different business functions exhibit a wide range of storage utilization behavior and may, therefore, demand multiple levels of service from the same enterprise storage organization. To manage only the physical attributes of this storage may be inadequate when the evaluation of multiple service-level agreements is needed.

Enterprise storage is not just disk, cables, and switches. Enterprise storage encompasses the applications and business processes that it serves. It must be managed with a discipline that reflects the behavioral characteristics of those applications and business processes. An SRM system, by definition, must manage physical resources, but it must also accommodate the view of storage that is business-function specific. Storage resource management must be capable of managing the physical, logical, and presentation (reporting) layers of enterprise storage stack performance, utilization, and configuration. The more robust the storage resource management system, the better the resulting data can be, and potentially, the higher the rewards from its implementation.

Storage resource management systems provide the following functions:

  • Storage discovery trends for:
    • Operating platforms
    • Storage vendor type
    • File system type
    • Data access and modification times
    • File and directory sizes

  • Unified views of heterogeneous storage resources across all major variants of distributed computing platforms

  • Configurable views of storage resources by using multiple storage object classifications (logical storage groupings) for:
    • Applications
    • Development efforts
    • Data types
    • Servers
    • File systems
    • Database file systems
    • Directories, folders, and files
    • User account ownership

  • Trending of behavioral characteristics in storage object classifications

  • Predictive models for storage object classifications

  • Event-driven storage automation

  • Extensive reporting capabilities for all storage objects

  • Open-system architecture and scalable design (extensibility)

  • Ease of implementation and administration

Although all of these functions may not be available from any one commercially available system, an enterprise storage organization should focus on obtaining the SRM system that meets the greatest number of current and projected needs.

SRM systems can provide an enterprise storage organization with behavioral details of its storage systems. These details, when illuminated, provide a means to efficiently act on capacity planning, backup, data migration, and other storage management-related efforts that support storage best practices.

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