Opinion: Storage sprawl requires a fresh management outlook

Storage managers have to be proactive and assert themselves in the procurement process

The ability to purchase data storage components at a fraction of their price just a few years ago is opening the door for almost anyone in companies to buy storage. But have storage managers changed their storage management style to adapt to this new purchasing model?

Buying more storage without any method to track what you already have results in complex configurations that storage managers can no longer optimally manage using older tool sets and existing methodologies. Granted, these tool sets and approaches often worked well when you had complete control, but when your storage environment grows and changes, your storage management method likewise also needs to change.

To adapt, a change in the products you use to support your environment will probably be required. Software products from traditional storage vendors like EMC and IBM were often created years before the current storage sprawl began. As a result, they often offer only a means to manage their products and don't give users a complete picture of what assets they have or how they are configured.

To change this, you need to seek out new products from vendors like Diogenes Labs, Onaro and TeraCloud, which can provide you with that view. But this puts more responsibility on storage managers to get involved with their companies' IT procurement process to make sure this new software shows up when new storage products arrive.

Storage purchases are now a frequent occurrence at most companies, so storage managers have to be proactive and assert themselves in the procurement process. But changing this requires that storage managers also make changes in their management style and who they reach out to so they can ensure they are putting the right tools in place to manage their companies' storage growth.

Jerome Wendt is the president and lead analyst with DCIG Inc. He may be reached at jerome.wendt@att.net.

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