Optimizing Storage Costs and Performance while Enhancing Planning with Resource Monitoring

Storage managers face the demanding task of maximizing storage infrastructure capacity, performance and availability, while also reducing or at least slowing the growth of storage-related capital and operating expenses. Storage array vendors are innovating to increase performance, uptime and utilization, but from a budgetary perspective, IT shops must get the most out of their existing hardware deployments, before investing in additional infrastructure.

As a result, storage managers require deeper visibility into hot spots and other bottlenecks that can substantially impede day-to-day, business critical functions. They also must become more strategic when it comes to planning for investment in additional storage capacity. This tips the value scale in favor of tools that provide deep monitoring and visibility across an enterprise’s storage resources.

Notably, IT planners should look for a storage resource monitoring tool that treats data as one holistic pool via support for multiple vendors’ storage arrays, and visibility into not just arrays themselves, but also into RAID groups, storage pools and other configurations. Obtaining a unified view into areas such as hardware temperature, fan speed and power supply, and applying alerts for thresholds in areas such as throughput or latency, can help IT to more quickly identify and resolve potential issues. This centralization can also enable IT planners to uncover both over and underutilized resources, which supports increased optimization of storage resources and faster time-to-resolution of issues.

Because maximum availability of Tier One data stores is a business necessity today, storage managers should think about applying storage monitoring tools to not only correct issues more quickly, but also to become more preemptive and predictive. Holistic visibility into the application stack (spanning resources such as virtual machines and server and networking infrastructure, in addition to the storage resources) provides insight into interrelated problems as well as visibility into performance metrics over time that can help IT to identify potential issues before the storage infrastructure is affected. Meanwhile, analyzing trend data can help IT to predict capacity requirements (useful in planning for a costly storage infrastructure expansion or refresh) and peak hours (helping to ensure appropriate levels of performance).

For more on how to utilize storage monitoring to slash storage costs, watch this on demand webinar with Storage Switzerland and SolarWinds.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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