Why is Data Storage Management So Difficult?

Are storage management solutions getting better? A look at the trends in storage management.
Posted November 18, 2010
By

Henry Newman


Unfortunately, storage management tools have less functionality across different vendor platforms and are far most costly than equivalent network management tools. Data storage Henry Newman discusses the trends.


Most people I speak with at network operations centers (NOCs) rate today’s network management tools as very good or excellent. However, the same cannot be said for storage management tools. This is not entirely the fault of the vendors, given the complexity of storage management compared to networking. So why is storage management and monitoring so difficult compared to network management and monitoring? What do the next few years holds for storage management? In my opinion, we are moving from storage management hell to storage management purgatory.

The Current Landscape

In the current environment, there is a very big difference between what can be accomplished within the standards process in network management and storage management. Much, if not most, of the network management world is controlled by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) – a standards body with worldwide participation from many communities, not just vendors. The IETF has had, and will continue to have, participation from a wide variety of sources including the research and user communities. Additionally, network management and monitoring is much simpler given that the number of vendors that make networking equipment is small in comparison to the number of vendors making storage equipment. The 7 OSI layers and network complexity is far more straight forward than storage management. The OSI layers are well defined:

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