The inner workings of SRM

Storage resource management (SRM) products can manage storage-area networks (SANs),

network-attached storage and

direct-attached storage. A SAN is not a prerequisite for SRM. All that is required is that the hosts and managed devices communicate with the SRM tool via the network.

Most SRM software works through graphical user interfaces or command line interfaces. Increasingly, vendors are adding browser-based management consoles that can be accessed from anywhere on the network.

SRM products consist of the core management functionality, agent software deployed on servers and managed devices, and a central repository. The collected data is stored in the repository for reporting, analyzing trends, planning and forecasting capacity.

For some products, agents are

optional.

SRM products typically collect data through agents, which read log files and system-level data, and through Simple Network Management Protocol traps and databases of objects that can be managed by a network management system.

The products include code to capture information from and manage each type of supported host and device, which frees storage administrators from having to access each platform individually through its native interface.

The products are usually rules-based. The administrator sets a threshold for storage capacity for each application using the management console. When that threshold is reached, the system triggers an alert to the appropriate individual. When automation is part of the SRM package, the system can execute a predefined response automatically, such as provisioning more capacity.

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