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Ten things to look out for with storage management

If you're going to start using a storage management product, you're probably wondering where to start. Here are some tips from Paul Ellis, product line manager at IBM Tivoli Software, and John Symonds, vice president of product management and development at Legato

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  1. You have to evaluate the criticality of your data. Just because you're a 10-person company doesn't mean that your data isn't as important to you as it would be if you were a large corporation. -- Paul Ellis
  2. Automate storage-management functions to remove human error from the process. -- Paul Ellis
  3. Although hardware costs have fallen, companies are now retrenching. And people costs are very high, so to manage storage, you can't just throw money at the hardware any more. -- Paul Ellis
  4. Make sure you test your recovery scenarios. Analysts say a large percentage of such tests fail because the organization didn't know what software to recover, or there were hardware mismatches, or, sometimes, the organization can't find the data to restore. -- Paul Ellis
  5. Don't forget to manage the data that's on your workstations. You have to make sure your data is protected, so you need tools that will allow the backup of distributed data from a central location. -- Paul Ellis
  6. Software has to be open so that it can work in heterogeneous environments. You don't want one solution for your Windows environment, another for your Unix servers, and another for your Mac graphic stations. -- Paul Ellis
  7. You're better off learning about storage management before you jump into it. There are various sources of learning that you can check out. One good one is the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). It has courses available that you can pursue. -- John Symonds
  8. Check out consultants for your education process. They can help you evaluate your storage management needs.-- John Symonds
  9. Backup management is the "basic hygiene" of storage management. If you can't do that, you're really overexposed. -- John Symonds
  10. It's a good idea to have a second interface for the operator if you're using backup management software, in addition to the administrator's interface. If you have an operator's interface that has functionality limited to those functions the operator needs, you will find you're getting fewer help calls at one in the morning. Legato has that as an exclusive product feature, but you can develop them yourself through scripting. -- John Symonds


About the author: David Gabel is executive technology editor for TechTarget.

This was first published in August 2002

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