What is SRMaaS?

To keep up with the capacity and performance demands, IT is continually adding new storage systems to the data center. At Storage Switzerland, we find it is not uncommon for an organization to have seven or more different storage systems from three or more storage vendors. Each system comes with a specific tool to manage that system, but IT needs a dashboard that can monitor all the storage systems simultaneously. Storage Resource Management (SRM) is that dashboard, but most organizations still don’t use it. Why? SRM is too expensive to buy and too complex to operate.

The lack of an easy to use and affordable SRM solution leads most organizations to use the individual reporting features that come with each storage system and then manually consolidate the information from those tools into an Excel spreadsheet. This process is, of course, time-consuming and prone to errors as each storage system reports data in different formats.

IT needs a reliable SRM solution more than ever. It has to be simple to get started as well as affordable upfront and into the future. Storage Resource Management as a Service (SRMaaS) solutions enable organizations to implement and operate SRM as they would any other service. What Salesforce.com did for customer relationship management (CRM) applications, SRMaaS does for SRM. The service drives down the upfront and long-term cost of SRM solutions significantly. It also simplifies operation and enables the SRM service provider to be an extra set of eyes and ears.

Like other “as-a-service” offerings, the cloud serves as host to SRMaaS. All the storage systems in the data center then pass telemetry data so that the SRMaaS solution can analyze it and store it in the cloud. SRMaaS leverages cloud computing for the analysis and cloud storage for the storing of telemetry data. It is essential to understand that SRMaaS keeps your data is secure. SRMaaS captures only machine data that the storage systems generate. It never sends sensitive customer data to the cloud.

The only component that SRMaaS requires on-premises is a lightweight application that can run as a VM. It regularly collects telemetry data from the storage systems the customer owns and transfers that data to the SRMaaS cloud. The lightweight on-premises presence makes SRMaaS easy to install, and customers can start seeing a visual overview of their environment in less than an hour.

Companies like Clear Technologies’ Visual Storage Intelligence (VSI) take the service concept a step further by using human intelligence to analyze the data they capture. The team at VSI provides an extra set of eyes to help organizations stay on top of their storage infrastructure. VSI provides inspection of their customer’s environments and alerts the IT team to potential problems.

Most SRM vendors spend their time trying to convince you that SRM is a “must-have” versus a “nice to have,” without actually changing anything about the solution. What vendors need to address is why most customers deem SRM as a “nice to have” in the first place. Again, today’s SRM solutions are too expensive and too complicated. With SRMaaS, companies like Clear Technologies’ VSI make SRM very affordable and extremely easy, which makes it more than a “must-have” it is a “why on earth wouldn’t you have it?”

To learn more about SRMaaS and Visual Storage Intelligence, join George Crump, Lead Analyst at Storage Switzerland, and Phil Godwin, President, and COO at Clear Technologies, for the on demand presentation “Three Reasons SRM is Broken and How to Fix It“. During the presentation, they discuss the problems with current SRM solutions and how to solve them.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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