Big and fast may be two of the biggest requirements when choosing a storage system, but another key consideration is manageability.
Manageability is inherently harder to quantify than capacity or throughput, and it will get harder as convergence technologies become more prevalent and vendors race to build heterogeneous management tools.
Standards, such as Common Information Model, that are being driven hard on the storage side by organizations such as the Storage Networking Industry Association are trying to make storage management across multiple platforms a real-world possibility. However, the standards process is slow, and it could take years before these standards are comprehensive enough to blur vendor distinctions.
In response, vendors are trying to reverse-engineer the management tools of their competitors. Hitachi Data Systems Corp.s Hitachi TrueNorth and EMC Corp.s WideSky projects are examples of proposed heterogeneous storage management solutions.
Whats the state of these new systems? Vendors marketing presentations would have you believe they work really well, but eWeek Labs has yet to hear from an IT manager who could manage all of his or her storage from a single platform. During the next few months, eWeek Labs will visit several sites to see just how well heterogeneous management can work. Hopefully, the reality will come close to the hype.