Deploying SRM

Users and analysts offer the following suggestions for purchasing and deploying storage resource management (SRM) software:

Identify your management needs at the start of the process. SRM as a category encompasses a wide range of functions, from basic discovery to complex storage process automation. Before you start talking to vendors, identify the particular functionality you need.

Walk before you run. It is difficult to deploy the full suite of SRM functionality at once, even if you want all the components. Start with a few basic functions you can build on, such as discovery, reporting and automated alerts. Later, you can gradually add more functionality and expand to more hosts, platforms and devices. Discovery is considered the key to everything that comes after.

Pay attention to your reporting needs. Most SRM products come with a basic set of reports out of the box. The ability to customize reports or create completely new ones differs greatly from vendor to vendor. Some offer their own reporting language; others rely on a standard such as Structured Query Language. If possible, avoid having to customize reports at all.

Be careful about deploying automation. It requires that you have well-defined, detailed storage procedures in place. Many organizations, however, do not have documented storage procedures at all. This is more of an organizational challenge than a technical one.

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