Indeed, storage is an afterthought when it comes to a key IT management buzzword these days -- configuration management database (CMDB), a technology whereby numerous IT resources, including servers and applications (and supposedly storage) can be centrally managed and controlled.
CMDB is part of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) approach to data center management. (See ITIL Irritates IT Managers.) It incorporates automatic discovery of devices, systems, and applications and sets up a repository of information about them and their relationships to one another. The goal is to track IT resources and make changes as needed.
CMDB is definitely an enterprise-scale paradigm. While nearly any kind of IT management product, including those that are included with many SAN and NAS systems, can sport a CMDB, a key concept is that a group of CMDBs can be brought together into a single management interface. This is called "federated CMBD."
"CMDB is a software-centric approach to discovering, identifying, and tracking elements in data centers. It's a single source of truth, if you will," says Vick Vaishnavi, director of marketing at BladeLogic. "The notion is that if you are going with CMDB, you are trying to create different sources of truth -- about the network, about applications, about storage... Enterprise CMDBs are warehouses where all these CMDB satellites are stored."