Storage Strategy: ILM and storage virtualization

storage.itworld.com |  Storage

ITworld.com recently caught up with Joe Clabby, Vice President, Practice Director: Storage and Server Strategies at Summit Strategies, Inc. He authored the new report "Staring Down The Storage Sinkhole". Here's his perspective on what's hot in storage and where organizations should focus their energies.

Where should end users focus their attention?

Clabby: The hot topics in storage right now are Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and consolidation/virtualization/provisioning. I call this CVP.

ILM deals with the management of an enterprise's content -- relegating it to different levels of storage based upon its value to the enterprise as well as on compliance requirements. Consolidation, virtualization, and provisioning all deal with attacking the storage management issue. Consolidation helps IT buyers get a handle on the storage they own. Virtualization treats all storage as a pooled resource (helping to increase utilization rates while also helping IT administrators better manage storage). Provisioning (which means greatly different things to different people) essentially has to do with automating storage activities by using policies, procedures and rules to allocate and manage storage.

If I were a mid-sized or large enterprise, I'd focus on these two issues. The storage management issue is particularly important because CertMag says that storage administrators now average around $100K per year. Now think about it, if I add X# of storage devices, I'm going to need to add a storage administrator for every 10, 20, or 50 devices (depending on the management tools I have at my disposal). Storage is growing exponentially -- so something has got to be done to stem the tide of having to hire an exponential number of people to manage storage. Better storage management could help enterprises save millions...

What must users ask potential vendors before purchasing these technologies?

Clabby: For ILM, potential buyers should look very closely at the vendor's content management software.
For consolidation, virtualization, and provisioning, prospective buyers should look at the vendor's professional services organization. Check to see that the vendor has performed CVP; what software they used; how much it costs for the software and services.

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