In travel, getting there is supposedly half the fun. But that's probably not a sentiment shared by storage managers who've been looking for a direct route to complete and comprehensive help in overseeing all of their organization's storage resources.
There's no doubt that storage management tools continue to improve. Today's emerging class of integrated SRM and SAN management suites deliver concrete improvements in storage environments compared with just a couple of years ago notably, by offering more unified control of devices, more sophisticated knowledge of utilization, and more automation of complicated tasks.
But the road to storage management utopia remains long, winding, and full of potholes. The biggest hazards continue to center on limited ability of integrated storage management platforms to deliver consistent control over any and all storage devices from any and all manufacturers.
Emerging management products that deliver a wider array of feature sets and device management capabilities are coming closer to providing a complete framework for storage management, but they aren't there yet. As a result, customers still need to ask many basic questions and carefully consider product differences before committing to a management system.
That's the key conclusion from this month's Byte and Switch Insider report, Integrated Storage Management: Closer, but No Cigar. The report explores the various characteristics of integrated storage management products, from their functionality all the way to pricing and total cost of ownership issues. Storage managers, vendors, and industry experts interviewed for the report say these products are starting to deliver on their promises, but realizing those promises still takes serious work.