The value of implementing storage resource management (SRM) offerings into IT infrastructure and storage operations is being overlooked by enterprise customers primarily because vendors are not properly educating administrators, finds a recent Forrester Research Inc. study.
"Customers still don't seem to see the value of (SRM)," he said. "I think they're intimidated by the complexity and expense of most tools. To me, (organizations) don't have table stakes of 'where are we,' and I think that's pretty consistent across most companies that are customers of any of these (SRM) tools," said Andrew Reichman, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester, as reported by Brian Fonseca with ComputerWorld.
Other areas of SRM that vendors need to address with customers are their concerns in regards to "streamlining the agent deployment process to pinpoint which servers are agentless; automated pushing out of agents; bolstering backup integration; making out-of-the-box capacity planning easier; adding storage virtualization functionality to help alleviate complex storage configurations; and offering professional services."
The Forrester study included feedback from 35 SRM-related providers, including Sun.
Sun's offering of the Sun StorageTek Operations Manager does address many of these issues. This open, integrated, heterogeneous storage area management software provides a single web-based enterprise platform for customers to discover, visualize, monitor, report on, chargeback on and provision complex multi-vendor storage networks.
Sun StorageTekTM Operations Manager software can be used to create an internal storage utility with its flexible development tools and customizable policy and reporting engines.
Application-specific modules allow the administrator to view the entire application path, from the database all the way through the fabric to the individual array spindles. It provides configuration details, performance data, dependency analysis and utilization statistics. Its provisioning wizard guides administrators through storage allocation activities and optionally schedules those changes to occur during maintenance windows.
The ease of the Sun StorageTek Operations Manager software may eventually be discovered by enterprise customers, who will soon be overrun with the exploding data, regulatory and compliance mandates and growing heterogeneity within data centers and storage environments.
Reichman warned, "I hear the argument (by users) that maybe we don't need SRM. ... It seems that most companies have this perception they can put it off. But with the pace of data growth out there, what they're currently using isn't going to work and (will) only become more cumbersome. They're going to limp along without (SRM)."
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