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SRM can lead to many benefits. It is not a spot implementation to fix a given storage problem. Rather it is a storage best practice through which policy-based storage management is made possible. SRM "is a complementary set of products, standards and procedures." Like all storage best practices, it must be maintained rigorously to ensure that storage organizations obtain the knowledge persistence and management visibility they require to operate efficiently.

Many SRM best practices are logical and easy to implement and can quickly benefit the enterprise storage organization and its customers. The scenarios presented in this paper are but a few roughly drawn examples based on real-life experiences with SRM systems. Many other scenarios are possible. In particular, SRM practices used within the database server space to monitor and trend database growth rates, replication consumption, and backup and restore performance quickly come to mind.

The principles of storage management best practices, as defined in this paper, require storage practices that lead to the most available, reliable, scalable, performance-tuned, and cost-efficient distributed storage infrastructures. Without the proper management layer in place to ensure that these principles are supported, gauging the relative success of any storage best practice is virtually impossible. When managing the risks related to the cost and operational efficiency of an enterprise storage stack, no storage best practice is more valuable than SRM. With its ability to define and enforce storage best practices, SRM makes the total cost of ownership of large distributed storage infrastructures more palatable by increasing the operational efficiencies of the distributed storage administration staff throughout the spectrum of its responsibilities.

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