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World Class Storage Performance Management

helpful tipsKeeping your storage performance up to par can be a challenge, especially in a heterogeneous enterprise environment. More and more, you need to have an architecture for your storage needs that is compliant with industry standards, can be deployed quickly, is agile enough to manage and monitor, and that can be adapted to your changing needs. Identifying what you want out of your storage performance management system is the first step in achieving world class storage performance management.

Here are some of the things you need to look for when you consider a storage performance management solution for your company:

•    You want a solution that integrates with your environment. Many solutions today can manage your storage needs in an end-to-end capacity. Ideally, you’ll choose a solution that can integrate as diverse areas of storage performance as Microsoft Exchange as well as your Unix environment. In the end, this will increase the productivity and the manageability of your storage solutions.

•    Automatic network discovery is important, too. You need to be able to look at the big picture from your storage performance management solution. Choose a solution that will map everything from DAS to NAS to SAN, as well as your backup topology. Many tools will provide you with a graphic representation of your objects, zones and paths.

•    Remember the business reasons behind your concern for storage performance. You need to be able to monitor and to report on business applications. Whether it’s Exchange, Sybase, MY SQL, Oracle or another database, you need to know how it’s  handling things. Clustering solutions, such as Microsoft Server Cluster or VERITAS Cluster should also be able to be monitored from within your solution.

•    Make sure you have access to the performance data you need. Your solution should have the capability of producing reports, both stock reports and custom reports. It should be able to produce them in a variety of formats, from spreadsheet to PDF to HTML.

•    A solution that uses industry standard architecture makes support simpler. Try to find a solution based on Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S),the Common Information Model (CIM) and the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) standards. This will give you multi-vendor storage support.

•    Your storage performance management solution should be able to monitor and manage things end-to-end. From the application to the objects to the storage subsystems to file identification, the solution should be able to monitor your applications and identify potential trouble spots.

•    Infrastructure backup management is extremely useful, too. This will allow you to keep tabs on your overall backup process, and to get a handle on where you stand in terms of recoverability. Ideally, your storage performance management solution will be able to connect directly with your backup solution.

While you might be hard-pressed to find all of these features in a solution that can support your particular environment, you should get as close as you can to achieving the specifications on this list. In the end, it will increase not only your storage performance but the efficiency of your entire enterprise.

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