When working with storage professionals, I always try to understand where storage fits in their organization’s strategic initiatives. The business environment they work in and how they interact with the business owners of critical applications will explain a great deal about the opportunities and limitations for improving their storage strategy.
Storage professionals interact with business owners in a variety of ways. These include:
- The storage team partners with the business owners in planning storage and data protection.
- The storage group is perceived as a resource to be called upon by the business owners. The group provides storage at a particular rate (ie “gold level”) which dictates performance, data protection and cost.
- The business owners are less than cooperative with the storage team, making demands while providing little planning or guidelines regarding their needs. And the business owners complain that storage provisioning is always holding them back.
There are variations of these, and some extreme cases that make for interesting discussions, but storage professionals always raise one common point. That is, when it comes to business continuance/disaster recovery (BC/DR), the storage group plays a key role in putting together an effective solution. Planning, implementing, and periodically testing BC and DR for a business or organization are complicated, costly and necessary processes for most organizations. This is where the storage team is a critical resource, and its influence reaches into the deployment of storage for critical applications.
Planning BC and DR requires an expertise gained from experience. Storage people generally understand this, and can leverage these processes for making more effective and long-term storage decisions.
Understanding all the options and technologies involved in BC and DR is an important skill for storage professionals. They need to be continually learning about technologies and products to be effective. This information will help them make decisions at critical moments about deploying applications that can add to the success of a company.
(Randy Kerns is Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm).