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Review: Storage Resource Management Suites


Most organizations manage their storage resources reactively. As the storage systems and SANs fill up, they add terabytes and track the additions with Excel spreadsheets. When nightly backups encroach on the business day, they might change the backup process. Database admins and systems administrators overprovision storage, because they're not sure they'll be able to get more when they need it. Otherwise, they pay little attention to what data is stored where. Snapshots, ad hoc backups and mirror copies that were meant to be temporary sit on the SAN forever, while the NAS becomes cluttered with iPod backups and multiple copies of PowerPoint presentations about products that were discontinued years ago.

SRM (storage resource management) applications can help get a handle on such inefficiency. A good SRM product can tell you at a glance how effectively your storage is being used and help you identify and solve your worst problems. Just install an agent on each server you want to manage, wait a day or so for data to be collected, and start running reports.

By eliminating duplicate files, removing inappropriate data and reducing overprovisioning, most organizations can decrease their storage use by 10 percent to 20 percent. That's well worth the cost of a typical SRM solution, considering the cost of each extra terabyte of storage.

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