Much ado is being made these days about consolidation and reducing the cost of IT, with virtualization being the drivers for storage management improvements.  The truth is that storage management, as well as application management and OS management, has always been a critical component of data centers. The fact that virtualization puts more pressure on these tasks is no excuse for overlooking them to date.  Virtualization and “cloud” initiatives are increasing the demand on data centers to the point that they have no choice but to seek efficiencies. Or perhaps it is budget pressure that offers no choice and the storage demands of virtualization and cloud initiatives are making it harder to realize the savings. A recent i360 Gov release highlighted the need for “best practices” around managing server storage in virtual environments. Their practices included:
  1. Know thy storage
  2. Get file systems aligned
  3. Properly size storage tiers
  4. Avoid intense I/O scenarios
Any good data center manager should value these efficiencies. Yes consolidation, virtualization and cloud demands do pretty much leave no choice, but that’s no excuse for overlooking a gold mine in the past.  IT departments and data centers have ballooned around complexity and confusion for too long and it’s time to pay the piper. Now may be the time to ditch the multiple, un-manageable storage management software, as well as the OS management software and application management software, and look into Symantec’s integrated heterogeneous Storage Foundation Suite. This oft overlooked product suite provides the ability to not only manage heterogeneous storage environments but to elevate the savings through application HA management as well as OS management.  Imagine being able to manipulate your applications across any OS accessing any storage on physical and virtualized environments in a single management framework. Imagine greatly reduced migration times, greatly increased availability and greatly increased storage utilization rates.  All these things translate to reduced operational risk and yes, $$$$$$. Storage Foundation’s key features are:
  • Online storage management with heterogeneous operating system (Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and AIX) support and broad set of qualified storage devices and arrays.
  • Veritas Operations Manager allows centralized management of diverse applications, servers and storage.
  • Dynamic multi-pathing enables I/O to be efficiently spread across multiple paths for path failure protection and fast failover.
  • SmartTier, a feature of Storage Foundation, seamlessly and transparently migrates data among storage tiers – Fibre Channel, SATA, Solid State, other – based on its business value.
  • Centralized management of volumes and file systems for DB2, Oracle, Sybase and MySQL databases.
  • Optimize thin provisioning by migrating efficiently and non-disruptively to thin environments and then staying thin through automated storage reclamation.
Its key benefits include:
  • Increase storage utilization across heterogeneous operating systems and storage arrays.
  • Increase operational efficiency with comprehensive visibility and centralized management of applications, servers and storage tiers across multiple hosts.
  • Enhance storage I/O path availability and performance and efficiently spread I/O across multiple paths.
  • Lower storage costs, easier data lifecycle management and control over critical application performance.
  • Powerful manageability, optimum performance, and continuous access to databases.
  • Simplify both the management and provisioning of storage, while increasing storage utilization, lowering costs and improving operational efficiencies.
Further reading is available: Maximize  storage efficiency with Symantec and Netapp