Many parts of the IT and user organization have fingers in the pie when it comes to defining storage. This usually leads to wasteful storage decisions. Storage should be defined by the users as a service. Key metrics of the service level include the amount of storage, the ability to expand storage, response time, and RPO and RTO requirements. A key requirement of any storage infrastructure is that the user of this service should know what level of service is being supplied, and be able to change that level of service at any time. Thin provisioning and virtualization are key components of a “storage as a service” strategy.
Action Item: Organizations should centralize storage allocation decisions within storage administration, and ensure that storage equipment specifications are expressed as required levels of service, not product specifics. The storage infrastructure should include the monitoring and metering tools necessary to report back to storage consumers on storage service levels.