Case Study: Taming the Storage Jungle: Page 3

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The Missing Piece

BMO will continue rolling out its centralized storage through 2006. Besides the new hardware, the bank is also reducing the number of UNIX flavors it supports, cutting down to just Sun's Solaris and IBM's AIX. In addition, it is trimming the number of supported database environments to save on support and licensing costs.

The Fibre Channel infrastructure and disk sub-systems should all be in place by the end of this year. Connecting and migrating UNIX storage is in progress, scheduled for completion in 2005. Next year, BMO will start connecting and migrating the mainframe, midrange, and Intel server storage.

Although project completion is still several years down the road, nevertheless there are already noticeable results.

"We have increased connectivity to disk space so we almost have 'storage on demand,' Smalley relates, "and we have seen some performance throughput gains."

There is one piece, however, that is missing from the equation -- storage management. Hardware prices are down to a few pennies per megabyte, but managing and maintaining that storage runs an estimated six to ten times the hardware costs. Smalley did use Tivoli Storage Manager for part of the project, but he has yet to find a product that would adequately manage the entire group of SANs.

"We need a 'world class' storage resource management tool for open systems disk storage," he says, "but the software doesn't yet have the necessary maturity to manage a structure such as ours."

This story originally appeared on Datamation.

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