Posted in:IT Costs, Multi-Vendor Storage Reporting
You’ve probably heard the phrase “you have to pay to play” a few times in your life.
But just how much should you have to pay to keep up with your storage infrastructure?
Each of your storage manufacturers may have their own storage resource management (SRM) tools, but that does not mean you need to buy them to have success.
Let’s look first at typical SRM options, then consider what many SRM tools can’t do, and finally review better (and more affordable) SRM alternatives.
What are SRM Tools?
Longtime “heavy hitters” in storage management, SRM softwares are full product suites designed to help with numerous storage management tasks. They go beyond native vendor tools in their scope and abilities – as well as their price.
With versions from nearly every major storage provider, there are many options – though most of them are just small fish in a much bigger ocean of products in the eyes of the companies that own them.
Nevertheless, they provide data reporting that typically addresses capacity, performance, utilization, and problems / alerts. SRM software high price points also raise the expectations (and resources) for the products, resulting in deeper investments into their designs and upgrades.
What SRM Tools Can’t Do
No matter how much they cost, there are some things most SRM tools simply can’t – or won’t – do. Let’s look at a few:
Show Your Entire Infrastructure
Imagine you’re in the market for a car to commute to and from work. Would you waste your time on a pricy sports car? Sure, a vehicle with speeds of 200 mph and diamond-studded speakers will get you where you need to go (and be a lot of fun), but at a much higher cost and with features you don’t need.
Don’t get distracted by sleek marketing. If an SRM tool can’t show your entire storage environment – if it only shows you a piece of the puzzle – then it’s not helping.
Most vendor-delivered SRMs are like this. They’ll show data from that vendor’s devices, and maybe some data from some other devices, but not all your devices (especially when it comes to cloud and virtualization).
Some of the biggest SRMs actually separate cloud storage and on-prem storage into two separate products. For the cost of just one of these softwares, you’d be forgiven for expecting they could track both sets of data on just the one tool.
And no, you shouldn’t have to use Excel to combine your SRM data – that’s what you’re supposed to be paying the SRM for!
A tool’s other features don’t matter when you can’t see the basics of your entire infrastructure.
Simplify Data Reporting
When it comes to the data that SRM tools do collect, there is a lot of it – but that doesn’t always translate to simplified reporting for infrastructure teams.
Many SRM softwares take a long time to deploy. And when they do, there is extensive onboarding, followed by a full-time employee who devotes most of their time just to managing and monitoring the tools.
Moreover, not all SRMs convert collected data into neat and customizable reports that fit your specifications. You may have to settle for their standard default options.
Provide Unbiased Analysis
Since many SRMs are created by storage vendors, their designs have an implicit bias towards their own storage and other products. The impact is subtle but can be seen in the information the SRM design chooses not to emphasize or provide.
For example, if a vendor knows their storage products have a specific weakness, they may de-emphasize data in their SRM that would highlight that weakness.
Or, on the other end of the spectrum, they may tailor their data to over-emphasize certain elements of their storage if it might suggest you need to upgrade to another one of their solutions.
Prioritize Customer Experience
For many providers, SRMs are just a small part of a much larger business. This can leave something to be desired when it comes to customer service and user experience.
Despite the best of intentions, the natural consequence of running a large, multi-faceted business is that the products which account for the majority of revenue receive the majority of attention.
It’s simple math.
Finding the Unicorn: An Affordable SRM Alternative
Many IT leaders spring for fancy SRM tools because they think that:
- The only alternatives are native tools and spreadsheets
- High prices are an unavoidable reality in enterprise IT
- Higher prices must mean higher quality
What if there was, in fact, an alternative product that is both low cost and high quality? One that requires no program experts, emphasizes customer partnership, and analyzes all your multi-platform devices in customizable single-pane-of-glass reporting?
Would that change your mind?
It did for all of Visual Storage Intelligence’s customers.
That’s because Visual Storage Intelligence delivers detailed data about all of your devices across cloud, compute, and on-prem environments. No matter how many storage vendors you use, Visual Storage Intelligence gives you the data you need all in one place and affordably priced per petabyte.
It’s not a unicorn, but it is a more flexible, more agile, and more customer-friendly solution, simplifying your storage management into a unified visual analysis and helping you interpret your data.
With no need to burden your team with new systems or protocols to learn, Visual Storage Intelligence delivers essential insights in minutes instead of days.
And everyone who has used Visual Storage Intelligence has saved money. That’s 100% of customers who are seeing cost savings – like this customer who avoided a $1 million purchase with our capacity planning, or this customer who saved 12 weeks per year and ditched their SRM.
How easy is it to transition to Visual Storage Intelligence?
- VSI is agentless
- VSI is not set up on-prem
- VSI supports over 80 devices from more than 13 different vendors
You can be up and running with a two-month free trial in no time. In fact, you will start seeing data within 24 hours.
We know the challenges facing IT leaders. That’s why we help uncover amazing cost savings by providing superior visibility into data management systems across the enterprise. Working together, we can help you build efficiency, cost savings, and scalability into your infrastructure so you can provide IT excellence to your organization.
Talk to a Visual Storage Intelligence expert today. Whether you’re interested in a demo or just want a new perspective on a storage challenge you face, we’re here to help.