The previous article in this series explained why storage optimization is vital to competitive advantage, user and customer experience, and operational efficiency. But, before taking measures to optimize storage, it’s essential to carry out infrastructure assessment to discover, understand and document your current environment.
The infrastructure assessment also acts as the basis for planning and optimizing future storage environments. It provides a benchmark that storage teams can use to measure how well they are meeting their goals. The storage optimization plan will be based on real data, rather than guesswork, and will highlight priorities for the migration team.
Legacy Storage Challenges
Many organizations operate legacy infrastructures with siloed structures, multiple vendors and a diverse range of storage devices. The challenge is to consolidate the infrastructure to create a consistent environment that is simpler to manage and meets both business and operational requirements.
Those business goals might include improving the performance of the existing infrastructure to increase availability for your users, give greater access to mobile users or reduce operating costs. Maybe, you are considering migration to the cloud and you want to create detailed requirements for future storage deployments.
Set Storage Goals
Setting strategic goals is a key stage in the assessment process. Strategic goals help your team identify the most important metrics to assess. You may be planning to roll out new services. Does your infrastructure have the capacity and the flexibility to support the data required for development and deployment of the new services?
How adaptable is your infrastructure? Can it scale easily or is it operating at full capacity? Can you identify underutilized capacity that could be used to meet changing demand?
These trends and developments have a significant impact on storage requirements. While the assessment may indicate that an existing infrastructure can be upgraded to cope with changing demands, migrating to an environment based on the latest storage technologies may deliver greater benefit. Newer technologies may support faster, improved analysis, giving your organization greater insight and increased value from the data you hold.
With a clear set of goals, you can carry out an assessment that is relevant and focused. The assessment should cover a number of aspects of your storage infrastructure. How does it meet current requirements in terms of service levels, capacity, performance and access? Can it scale to meet forecast future capacity levels? Does it meet compliance requirements, and how easy is it to monitor and detect problems.
An infrastructure assessment can be a time-consuming, error-prone process using manual methods. However, tools such as VTG’s patented ZENfraTM automate and speed up the assessment process, and eliminate the risk of human error.
Assessment automation tools like ZENfra reduce the complexity and risk of manual data capture by automating the collection of data from log files. ZENfra processes the log files and creates a database with the required information.
The assessment will provide greater visibility of your current infrastructure and highlight areas for performance improvement and potential cost savings. It will also provide a basis for planning a technology refresh or migration to a new environment in the cloud.
Find Out More
This is part of a series of blogs on storage issues. In future posts, we will look in more detail at storage optimization and utilization. If you would like to know more about our storage optimization and assessment services, please check out the articles and infographics on our website.