Earlier this summer we started discussing the best path to storage virtualization success with our blog on setting scope and objectives. Now we’ll address two additional needs you’ll want to keep in mind as you implement storage virtualization: arranging proper staff training and leveraging storage resource management (SRM).
Arrange Proper Staff Training
Storage virtualization requires specific training and knowledge, so it’s important to assess your current IT staff for relevant, related skills and identify potential knowledge gaps.
For example, is your storage administrator current on the latest virtualization approaches? If not, you should evaluate independent training and certification. Make sure you’ve addressed potential skill gaps so you can properly assess the different virtualization approaches and how each approach might fit into your company’s existing infrastructure.
Once you’ve selected a virtualization approach, consider vendor-specific training. Storage virtualization approaches vary greatly from vendor to vendor, so you will want to take full advantage of all the features your chosen vendor provides.
Leverage Storage Resource Management (SRM)
As organizations adopt storage and server virtualization strategies, they discover that monitoring, reporting, and managing such an environment actually increases the complexities of some storage management activities.
Measuring storage performance has always been difficult for IT departments, and the job has become even more challenging with storage virtualization. Unfortunately, traditional storage management solutions no longer span the entire data path, from application to storage. But storage administrators require deeper visibility of the entire path from virtualized servers to the virtual storage as well as the ability to map the virtual storage to the physical storage devices. Few have the tools to correlate the outage of a back-end storage array LUN that sits behind a storage virtualization appliance to its potential impact on a business application.
Proper SRM solutions, especially performance and capacity management tools, provide the ability to manage heterogeneous physical and virtual storage environments. When properly instrumented, SRM tools provide full discovery and visibility, end-to-end resource mapping, monitoring, alerting, and reporting of virtual, logical and physical storage.
The next blog post on storage virtualization will cover the last two needs to consider for smooth storage virtualization, so check back with us soon. In the meantime, please share your implementation experiences, stories or best practices below.