Originating Author: Dave Vellante
The confluence of low-cost SATA devices, a large installed base of storage networks and very rapid storage growth has led many large and smaller vendors to embark on tiered storage strategies. Indeed tiered storage is becoming the consolidation buzz of the 2000â€™s. But the uptake is not nearly as dramatic. Tiered storage adoption has been hampered by justification concerns, complexity and politics.
Successful vendors in the tiered storage space will offer sets of services to assist in accelerating the acceptance of the approach. These include:
- Integration of tiered storage management software
- Monitoring/reporting/performance analysis
- Metering and chargeback services
Of these, classifying data is perhaps the most critical and often cited as a logical starting point. However, as savvy business people observe, the natural reaction to teams of consultants setting up shop in conference rooms, armed with probing surveys, will be 'don't take my storage off tier 1.' This presents an obvious problem for IT, but the lines of business don't always share the problem.
Lack of transparency in chargeback models often leads business lines to dismiss storage savings as a ruse by IT to get more budget. Suppliers must recognize this dynamic early on in the process to avoid scope creep, examine possible changes to business processes and increase chances of success.
Action Item: Vendors of tiered storage solutions must recognize that tiered storage implementation is a labor-intensive process and one that requires relevant services to succeed. These services often need to address business process deficiencies first, before tackling the implementation issues.