George Crump, Senior Analyst

Briefing Note

iWave Storage Automator Briefing Note

Most Orchestration tools are major purchases, that take months to be evaluated, approved and implemented. Storage is a major problem right now and storage managers need some immediate relief to deal with the fastest growing and potentially most out of control resource within the data center. The storage manager needs a less expensive, more focused orchestration tool focused on storage. In other words a storage automation tool. The problem is there have been very few, if any tools focused on providing cross storage vendor automation. iWave Software is about to change all that with the upcoming release of Storage Automator, their storage focused automation tool.

What Is Storage Automation?

Storage automation is the automation of multi-step tasks that a storage administrator would have to perform when provisioning storage to an application, remediating storage, reclaiming storage from an application and creating chargeback reporting on an application. These are certainly not “mundane” tasks so it takes more than simple scripting to automate these processes and that is where the automation tool comes in.

A storage automation tool like iWave’s will take the entire provisioning process for example, and automate it. For example if a new Oracle application needs to be deployed Storage Automator, following Oracle best practices, will communicate with the storage system, allocate the LUN, set up the appropriate LUN masking, perform and require fabric manipulation, properly configure the host and its HBA and even configure the OS and application to “see” and properly use the storage.

These abilities are especially important in the multi-tiered data center, where, thanks to the number of storage choices available, the above process needs to be repeated three or four times per application so an applications various sub-components are placed on the right tier of storage. Storage Automator can make sure that hot files are on the fastest available tier, working files are on a medium performance tier and reference files are on a capacity focused tier, with each tier being provisioned automatically as described above.

Oracle is just one example of where this automated provisioning has value. The same tasks could be applied to virtual server host provisioning, virtual machine provisioning and other stand alone physical server applications. Provisioning is just the tip of the iceberg for how an automation tool can automate the day to day storage functions for the storage manager. With the net result being better admin efficiency which should lower IT costs and minimize mistaken configurations.

Storage Swiss Take

The IT Manager knows the reality; the need for storage capacity is growing, the need for high storage I/O performance is also growing and the number of options to address these needs are growing. Many data centers are throwing everything they have from a budget and hardware perspective to try to maintain some semblance of control. Software intelligence may be a better solution to regain that control. Simple monitoring tools just inform you of how bad the situation is. Think of them as the nurse in the emergency room. Automation tools help you fix the problem. Think of products like iWave’s Storage Automator as the doctor in the emergency room.

iWave Software is not a client of Storage Switzerland


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