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Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 2

March 25th, 2009 No comments

TO SUBSCRIBE TO STORAGENERVE BLOG

 

The IT – Storage World of 2009

Continuing the series blog post on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA), this post focuses on the “IT – Storage World of 2009” and the requirements / importance of it around today’s overall Storage Strategy.


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


The following are the important facets of Today’s IT – Storage Environments.  

·         Complexity

·         Infrastructure

·         Cost

·         Tiering

·         Replication & Archiving

·         Virtualization

·         Content Management

·         Deduplication

·         Client Usage Billing

·         Database Growth

·         File System Growth



The Categories are now divided into Sub Categories: These categories and sub categories are primarily focused around the Storage Domain.


·         Complexity around Environments

o   Business Processes

o   Automation

o   Faster response times

o   SLA’s

o   Applications requirements

o   OS’s requirements

o   Networking Layers interface

o   Fabric Layers technology

o   Virtualization Layers

o   Technology Evolution

o   Uptime Requirements

o   Multi Vendor Support

o   Mergers and Acquisitions

o   Storage Consolidation

o   Storage Migration

 

·         Infrastructure Requirements

o   Datacenter Requirements

o   Application availability

o   Application Support

o   Storage backend Support

o   Outsourcing

o   Insourcing

o   Cost Management

o   Power Requirements

o   Utilization of Storage (x% from CIO)

 

·         Cost

o   CapEx Reduction

o   OpEx Reduction

o   Cost of Support

o   Penalties

 

·         Tiering Requirements

o   Application Tiering

o   Business Process Tiering

o   User Data Tiering

o   Cost Savings

 

·         Replication & Archiving

o   Sarbanes Oxley

o   HIPPA

o   SEC

o   Other Compliance

o   Critical Business Requirements

o   Critical Application Requirements

 

·         Virtualization

o   Utilization

o   Efficiency

o   Uptime

o   Floor Space

o   Green Data Center

 

·         Content Management

o   Business Processes

o   User Data

o   Meta Data

 

·         Deduplication

o   Backup Windows

o   File Transfers times

o   Bandwidth

 

·         Client Usage Billing

o   Centralized Shared Storage

o   Centralized Management

o   Charge Backs and Bill Backs

o   Complex processes for Usage Billing

 

·         Database Growth

o   Ever growing databases

o   Database requirements in terms of storage

o   Database Log files

o   Log Shipping

o   Critical Applications around Databases

 

·         File System Growth

o   Ever Growing file systems

o   User Data

o   Business Process Data

 

While we talk about the IT – Storage Industry and its surrounding requirements and impact, we need to know the Storage Economics behind it.


While the File Systems are consistently growing, Databases are exponentially growing, Compliance is a must and business processes are becoming critical every day, how do we manage and leverage what we have plus help reduce CapEx / OpEx and still manage to keep uptime/ efficiency / utilization.


Example:

I recently had a chance to visit a MNC (Multi National Company) to talk about Storage. We had long 6 hour meetings with various Application Owners, Business Group Owners, Strategic Planning folks, member’s from the CIO’s office, Storage Administrator and Host Administrator. During these sessions, we asked them a few basic questions about their Storage environments related to usage, outages, charge backs, new acquisition, storage management, process management, etc.

It was very surprising to see disconnect of priorities that various different teams had based on the role they played in that organization. Certain folks were talking about budget reductions, while some had priorities to play around with the latest technologies, while some had priorities about the application uptime, while some were focused on growth and some thought about ease of use.

But during the entire time we did not hear any common messages from these various teams about efficiency and optimization of their Storage Environments …….


Well, let’s move on….

What do you do to keep up with the IT – Storage requirements?

Is someone helping you purchase new Storage?

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 1

March 25th, 2009 4 comments

TO SUBSCRIBE TO STORAGENERVE BLOG

 

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

 

Lately I have really been away from blogging; seldom get time to read the blogs I follow every day, can’t remember the last time I was on Twitter.

Work has been really busy and motivating these days, with new Service offerings we are taking to our customers and partners throughout the world, life has become more than challenging, trying to work around multiple time zones, conference bridges, airplanes or customer sites for presentations, white boards and demos.

It seems the harder we work, the more digital antisocial we become (getting away from LinkedIn, Blogging, Twittering, Gmail’g, Orkut and Facebook)?

So a lot of my work these days has been around Storage Resource Analysis (SRA) that we are offering to our customers. What I plan to do over the next several post is go over a few things to describe these services and how it fits into today’s IT / Storage Environments.

I will try to leave these blog posts to minimum number of words (possibly 400 max) but will try to describe how it helps customers in these tough economic times to better optimize storage with immediate ROI and immediate CapEx and OpEx reductions.

We will talk about the technology and the way it fits into a customer’s environment overall providing resources that help customers better leverage their existing storage assets.

I have lately been reading some blog post by David Merrill and am starting to understand the importance of Storage Economics and how it plays a major role into customer environments related to applications, usability, budgets, ROI, etc.

Hope you find these posts interesting and informative. It might help understand the necessity of Storage Economics for your environments.

Experience: 

I had a very unique experience with my recent trip to a customer site: This is a large customer running several PB’s of storage. I asked them a question during a brainstorming session, how do you anticipate your storage to grow over the next 12 months. To my surprise one of their chief Storage Architects responded to me, the OEM (not to mention any names) told us earlier this year that we are growing at an average of 70% a year.

This really got me thinking, I started researching this customer to understand how their data was growing at 70% a year. The share price of the company is not growing at 70% (rather lost all its value in 2008), the product sales of this company is not growing at 70%, they are not hiring employees at a rate of 70% a year (rather have shrunk to half the number of employees), their engineering / research divisions haven’t grown at 70% a year, application owners, host systems & projects they are working on are not growing at 70%, neither is the storage industry growing at 70%. The more I started thinking, the more it didn’t make sense.

I am just going to leave this post here…..I will let you judge the rest, have these things happened in your environment? 

SANpulse Technology: An Overview: SANlogics, SANEase, SANBlocks

November 16th, 2008 No comments

SANpulse Technology: An Overview: SANlogics, SANEase, SANBlocks

Through a client of ours, I heard about SANPulse, upon further checking their technology and approach to solve some SAN related Business Processes, here is what I found.
Very interesting and unique approach!!!!!
Seems like they have already been in the news at INFOSTOR and ESG.
A tool that competes with SRM (Storage Resource Management) or rather even fits in as a module to SRM in required cases.

4 Building Blocks that drive this process offered by SANPulse.
1) Collect
2) Correlate
3) Generate
4) Empower
The above Building Blocks of SANPulse create the below listed 3 different products/processes/reports that help customer with Blue Printing, Migration, Auditing, Reclamation and Re-Tiering.

Products
1) SANLogics: Data Collection and Analytics
a. Web based Reporting
b. Vendor Agnostic – Storage and Switch Neutral
c. Agentless
d. Multitasking and Multiproject based
e. Open Source Database
f. Integrates with other Frameworks and SRM
g. Can reduce cost by 40 to 50%
h. Can reduce time by 40 to 60%
i. Adaptive Reporting for Client Environment
Check out the SANLOGICS ARCHITECTURE
http://sanpulse.com/Images/SANLogics.jpg

2) SANEase: Reduce Human Capital, Risk and Cost
a. End to End changes with minimum Risk and Cost.
b. Data readily available and fresh
c. Audit Summary
d. Automated Processes
e. Client SAN Transparency
SAN Ease saves time with SAN Planning, Implementation and Execution phases based on the data collection process from SANLogics engine.
Check out the SANEase Cost Savings
http://sanpulse.com/Images/SANEaseContent.gif

3) SANBlocks – Modules that sit around SANLogics providing building blocks of SAN
a. A true solution that can help customers with migrations, auditing, reclamation and re-tiering.

Check out SANBlocks

http://sanpulse.com/Images/SANBlocksCONTENT.gif

The driving force from the SANLogics, SANEase and SANBlocks can help the customers with several key Aspects like
1) SAN Blueprint Solutions
a) Significant Cost Reduction
b) Accuracy
c) Flexibility

2) SAN Audits and Clean up Solutions
a) Zone Clean ups
b) Reclaimable Storage
c) LUN Count Mismatches

3) SAN Migration and Consolidation Solutions
a) Agentless
b) Heterogeneous Environments
c) Automated Discovery – End to End.
d) Non Disruptive
e) Fewer onsite resources

4) SAN Reclamation Solutions
a) Identify Reclaimable Storage
b) Automated Process to Reclaim
c) Immediate ROI
d) Centralized Console for Management Views

5) SAN Re-Tiering Solutions
a) Identify Re-Tiering Opportunities
b) Storage Efficiency and Optimizations
c) Centralized Console for Management Views

Facts:

Business Partners of SANPulse: Cisco, EMC, Brocade, Sun, VMware, HP, Netapp, Hitachi.Private
Company, possibly started in 2005. Read a Client Migration Case study http://sanpulse.com/Documents/CaseStudy-1.pdf

ESG Report
http://sanpulse.com/Documents/ESG_Lab_Validation_Report_SANpluse_May_08.pdf

Website:
http://www.sanpulse.com

Future:


Bright future, but it might be a tough market to begin.

Prime target for takeover, if they align themselves with a certain OEM.

Great Technology!!!!

If you are in process of any sort of Data Migration process for your SAN, I would highly recommend you might want to talk to SANPulse. Based on the technology, this is for larger customer bases with atleast 750 TB and up.

Based on sales and marketing in these tough times, the company should be able to sell these products / processes / services to a lot of industries hurting with the credit crunch. ROI and TCO models will be very helpful during the sales cycle. It might be a good idea to line up with some service providers / solution providers / SAN Consulting companies through partnerships for using SANPulse exclusively in certain environments.
Note: I do not have any affiliations with SANPulse.