The power of HP Converged Infrastructure is here.Storage Insight:Debunk the datastorage mythsThe HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4
2Brochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4HP Experts like Darrell James debunk the myths about storage in the modern enterprise.Of all the obstacles standing in the way of building a better IT infrastructure, misinformationmay be the most daunting. To help you separate the facts from the hype, the experts fromHP Technology Consulting have created this informative eBook. It’s designed to provide theimmediate insight you need to make the right decisions about some of the most importantIT issues your enterprise will ever face.Uncover the truth about theevolving role of storage inyour data center.Myth #1:To keep up with insatiable demand, organizations simply need to add and provision storage asneeded. There’s no need to consider how that procurement might impact IT service.Insight:It’s a common situation: with storage needs growing so fast, IT departments simply add moreto keep pace with the business need. And it’s understandable. Data volume for many clients isexploding exponentially.
But this short-term cure is a recipe for long-term problems. When storage is added withouta strategic plan in place, the environment becomes increasingly more complex and harder tomanage. Over time, backing up, restoring, and protecting data becomes more challenging.Archives become excessively difficult to access—something you may need to do to respondto a lawsuit, for example, or to fulfill regulatory requirements. Securing data becomes morecomplex as well. These challenges all add up to a significant rise in administrative costs.If your need for storage is chronic, examine your process and policies, and ask some toughquestions. For example, it’s likely that not all of your data needs to be kept forever or accessedquickly. Are you organizing and prioritizing your data into tiers of importance? Do you havebusiness rules in place that allow certain types of data to expire after a pre-determined lengthof time? Managing your storage in these ways allows you to re-utilize a good portion of thestorage you already have, offering cost “take out.”Do you truly have a clear understanding of what it is you are storing and where it lives in yourarchitecture? Most companies, large and small, believe they have a better handle on this thanthey actually do. Often, as they start to truly assess the situation, they realize that while someof the architecture is documented, some of it is kept locked in a key employee’s head.Also, the collection of items being stored now is a more complex equation. Beyond typicaldocuments and data, companies are now keeping large multimedia files, massive amounts ofunstructured data, digital images, and more.By asking smart, penetrating questions about your storage situation, you’ll get a better senseof how to tackle your future requirements strategically. Ultimately, you’ll need to:By making these three adjustments, you should be able to alleviate a majority of yourchallenges. This will pave the way for a transition to storage best practices and its focus on fourkey areas:GovernanceTechnology Process Organization3Understand what you have in your current environment, and how data is being used.Develop a strategy that takes into account not only purchasing new storage, but alsoreclaiming existing capacity. You need a clear process for provisioning—andre-provisioning—your storage.Reassess the data being stored to determine how critical it is to your business. Thiswill help ensure you make storage purchases that match your requirements.Brochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4
Space for image or graphic placement4Myth #2:Everything having to do with storage is on our radar and under control.Insight:Many companies believe their data storage situation is straightforward: they add storage, theyprovision, and they move on.But there are likely storage initiatives lurking in your company that aren’t obvious. For example,certain IT projects—such as cloud and virtualization—are dependent upon data storage fortheir success.Cloud computing and virtualization can have a significant impact on storage. When they aren’ttaken into consideration in advance, results can be frustrating.“I did everything right when I set this up,” an IT staffer maylament, “and I was promised certain virtual machine densitiesand levels of performance. But nothing is working as it should,and now my users are screaming.”In such cases, the cause may well be that the storage infrastructure wasn’t able to absorb thenew requirements, and now it’s causing a massive bottleneck.These days, storage is a vital part of most every IT initiative. Even if you don’t have a formalstorage initiative underway, be alert to what else is being implemented within the company.It’s quite possible your colleagues may not realize how their projects will impact other parts ofthe infrastructure.Brochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4
5Myth #3:As a data storage professional, I can address the needs of my organization successfully if I justsimply manage the infrastructure and keep It functional.Insight:The role of most IT professionals is fundamentally different today than it was even five yearsago. This is true for storage professionals as well.Back in the old days (a little more than a decade ago) of open systems storage, there wasno specific storage role. After the turn of the century, Storage Area Networks (SAN) becameprominent, and storage teams began to take shape.Around 2005, with the advent of a variety of arrays with very different profiles, storageadministrators became attuned to matching the right platforms with the right data. To that end,they began to interview the user community to get a better sense of how storage was beingused. And they refined the concept of tiered storage as a best practice in support of what wecalled information lifecycle management.Some in IT still see their roles through the lens of pre-2005—in other words, as needing to managetechnology infrastructure by a narrow set of requirements like capacity, resilience, and redundancy.But the model has changed, and like it or not, recent technology developments—cloud computing,virtualization, big data, and others—have completely up-ended these considerations. Nowscalability, business impact, manageability, etc., must be factored into how those tiers are built.Being able to service the needs of your business is more critical than ever. A storage failure canseriously tarnish a company, or even put it out of business. On the flip side, a successful storagestrategy could give a company a competitive edge in key areas such as customer service, dataanalytics, and business efficiency.Here’s the bottom line: IT people should be part of the core team developing business strategy.At some point, nearly everything central to the business flows through IT (and most of itgets stored).Take time to understand the industry shift to an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) deliverymodel and avoid working in isolation. Instead, work proactively with your company’s businessleadership, IT colleagues, end users, vendors, and regulators. By collaborating with HP StorageConsultants and your stakeholders, you’ll be able to build, refine, and align your storagedelivery strategy.Brochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4
6Myth #4:If I buy, test and train on the latest and greatest storage technology with the best servicecontract, I will get the best results.Insight:When we encounter this way of thinking within troubled environments and evaluate theroot cause, we typically discover that the technology itself is rarely the problem. While thetechnology might not be working as hoped, it’s usually because, at the start, the wrongtechnology was selected to address the need. Typically, this points to a failure of governanceor architectural standards, human error (which might be a procedural or policy issue), or lack ofexpertise (which might point toward an organizational issue).Upfront analysis of all of the service components and their alignment within a client’s storage“service” will help prevent failed implementations. For example, make sure the solution mesheswith your architectural standards. Interview end users to make sure your solution meets theirobjectives. And dig deeper: are there procurement, business, or regulatory requirements thatneed to be taken into consideration? The team pushing for a deployment may not have anunderstanding of these areas.If you’re struggling with something you’ve implemented, revisit fundamental questions witha fresh perspective: What is the company’s expectation of the solution? Who is the consumerof the solution you just put in place? Exactly why does the technology not work for you? Was itdeployed correctly? Were the people installing or using the implementation properly trained?Do they have the right skills?These lines of questioning may seem straightforward, but in the pressure to get an applicationdeployed, it’s not unusual for these probing discussions not to happen in the planning process.Ultimately, buying storage technology is not only about buying spinning disks that meetsome functional requirements or fares best in a comparison spreadsheet. It’s about solving abusiness problem as it relates to storage, and understanding how the solution will play out inthe foreseeable future. That’s why achieving a successful rollout—or a candid assessment of arollout gone awry—requires a thoughtful and thorough investigation.Brochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4
7Explore the other installments of The HP IT Insights series:Volume 1: IT Trends: 8 ways to stay ahead of theIT evolutionVolume 2: Data Center Insight: 6 ways to prevent mistakesthat have cost others millionsVolume 3: Cloud Insight: 6 essential facts for defining asuccessful cloud strategyVisit hp.com/go/ITinsightsBrochure | The HP IT Insights Series—Volume 4