Storage Automation to the Rescue - Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: iWave Software

Brent Rhymes (Profile)
Monday, January 14th 2013

Who wears the Batman cape and is the IT crusader in your organization? In most enterprises, the IT professionals focusing on the latest buzzwords in the industry get the glory. Right now, that recognition seems to be going to the cloud and big data specialists. Yet, storage professionals know the hard work that goes into keeping these other technologies humming along. Unfortunately, they are rarely looked upon as the superheroes. That will change in 2013.

In 2013, Storage Comes to the Forefront

Storage is the critical path for big projects within the enterprise, including those cloud and big data endeavors. While they’re obviously not the villains, database team members continue to demand more and more storage, while application developers want their storage and they want it now. And we can’t forget about the cloud team; they’re a persistent bunch, as well.

Every one of these groups has a critical need. But, do they have any idea how complex storage is? You have to make sure that you place the right datastore in the right place and at the right time to ensure that you don’t get blasted out of Gotham City. There’s a huge chasm between the number of storage requests being generated and the available resources to manage them. Sometimes you may feel as if Penguin, Joker and Riddler are all in this together to take you down. You try your best to accelerate the delivery of every storage request, and begging for additional staff doesn’t yield results. You feel like you’re drowning in the green toxic goo with no lifeline in sight.

So, in order to meet the requirements of those demanding near real-time services, you’re going to need a secret weapon: storage automation. Other areas of the data center have been automated – at the server, operational and network levels – so why not storage?

Storage Administrators Transfer Some of Their Superpowers to End Users

Control is important to storage administrators, and for good reason. But, just as Batman has to delegate responsibility to Robin in certain scenarios, storage administrators should be able to delegate responsibility to junior administrators and even end users. When storage is served up to end users, who can then provision their own storage, you have some pretty happy end users. When all of these services are based on role-based access policies that you define and maintain, you can rest assured that you still reign supreme over your storage environment. Mundane provisioning, reclamation and management tasks are delegated, and you get impressive statistics on management dashboards for meeting and beating your service level agreements (SLAs.)  You become associated with strategic corporate projects, not just operations,  you superhero, you.

Storage Professionals Save the Day

Storage automation tools will help you become more efficient and offer better SLAs to your internal end users. At the same time, you’ll become an even more strategic part of the team responsible for executing critical business projects. Now, go don that cape. (But please, leave the tights at home.)