Four Levels of Storage Capacity Management
Effective storage capacity management helps IT leaders ensure that there are enough resources for both short-term and long-term goals. By looking at historical storage utilization trends, IT leaders can predict and plan for storage capacity in the future. In order to accurately forecast future storage capacity needs, it’s important that IT leaders are able to collect and track storage data at all levels of the organization.
Imagine running a high-level storage capacity report that shows 300 terabytes available across your storage environment – seemingly more than enough space for your next 100 TB project.
Unfortunately, there’s something you did not see. That 300 TB of space is split between your two data centers, then divided across a number of arrays. Finally, it’s even further divided across multiple pools. In reality, your 300 terabytes are fractured storage, and there isn’t enough of it in one place to handle the workloads that you need.
Unfortunately, most organizations don’t analyze storage at each of these levels. Why? Because analyzing storage at each of these levels is difficult and time-consuming, it takes time away from other critical responsibilities, and sometimes the level of detail is simply unavailable. That’s where an automated storage management service like Visual Storage Intelligence can help.
While everybody can do capacity management at some level, truly effective capacity planning should rely on consistent reporting at four levels of capacity management:
Why Four Levels?
Organizations may choose to start at either the top (the device level) or the bottom (the pool level) when it comes to capacity management planning.
For companies starting at the top, the first question they might ask is, do I have enough capacity for all backups? They might have three devices for backup, and they notice that one device is out, so they start looking to upgrade that device. While that device may need to be upgraded, could data at another level provide additional information?
Let’s say that you have two big arrays, both doing production, and you’ve divided the workloads 50/50 between the arrays. Before long, it appears that one of the arrays needs a costly upgrade. From the array level, where most capacity planning is done, there seems to be no reason why one array has reached capacity faster than the other. But a more detailed look at the pool level shows that the growth trends for one array were different from the other. Rather than investing in an upgrade, all that was needed was to change the workloads.
Very few people track at the pool level manually, but without monitoring at this level, IT leaders are leaving themselves open to problems. That’s why Visual Storage Intelligence has a tool to do this for you.
The details that appear as a result of doing multi-dimensional capacity planning can offer further insight to IT leaders, helping avoid surprise purchases, plan accordingly, and get the right storage in the right place at the right time for the right price.