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Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 6


Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Continuing the blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA), this post focuses on some facts about what causes and what are inconsistencies in storage environments.

To read the previous blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA)

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 1: Storage Resource Analysis and Storage Economics

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 2: The IT – Storage World of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 3: The IT – Storage Budgets of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 4:Some Fundamental Questions

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 5:Facts about your Data

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 6: Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 7: The Technical Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 8: The Business Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 9: The End Result


To talk about a few inconsistencies that exist in the volatile storage environments, here is a subset of them, later in the post we will talk about what causes these inconsistencies.

o   Host masking to non existing LUNs
o   Host masking to invalid LUNs
o   Multipathing inconsistency with Hostmodes
o   Split BCV’s with no increments
o   BCV is smaller than Source devices
o   Source is smaller than BCV devices
o   Administratively fractured Clone copy, data integrity issues
o   Unallocated BCV to LUN
o   Host masked to LUN and LUN non mapped to path
o   LUN mapped to path and not masked to host
o   Single path host
o   Replication split
o   Replication failover
o   Replication Sync
o   R1 and R2 LUN to with improper host attachments
o   BCV never established
o   BCV Split
o   BCV Sync
o   BCV Mirroring
o   Empty disk drive slots
o   Disk drives installed but not used or configured
o   Physical Disk space (unused disk drive space)
o   LUN unallocated
o   Ungrouped disk

The above storage inconsistencies are pretty common with large environments and with multisite replication enabled. Also without a proper storage management tool, these errors are very likely to exist in any storage environment.

What causes these above set of issues; let’s talk about a few primary related reasons

o   Human error
o   Incorrect planning and implementation
o   Lack of Storage Strategy
o   Lack of Training
o   Lack of Reclamation Strategy
o   Storage Consolidation projects
o   Host migration projects
o   Host retirement or scrapped projects
o   Lack of Storage management
o   Operational Oversight
o   Undocumented planning and procedures


Just spoke to a potential customer last week. During a conference call we asked them, what are some of the major issues they are seeing in their storage environment? They have two Storage tools they use for operational and management purposes to handle a large double digit PB storage environment.

The answer from one of the architects was, we know of a lot of issues in our environment, but we have priorities around other things happening in the environment and cannot focus on these operational day to day non trivial issues.

With a large environment like the above to manage, a storage reclamation exercise can help a customer reclaim storage in terms of PB’s and could convert into immediate ROI, ROA and reduction in CapEx / OpEx that would help the organization save millions of dollars in new storage acquisitions. The question remains, are those our priorities today?

Do you have any of the above issues in your storage environment, or are you aware of them yet?