No Pain But Plenty to Gain

There’s a common misconception that transformations have to be a painful process. “No pain, no gain” is the catchphrase used when it comes to dealing with difficult situations, whether it’s battling illness or injury or pushing through a tough workout. People avoid change and transformation because they’re afraid of the unknown and the perceived pain (price, time, labor, emotions) that will come with it.

”No pain, no gain” shouldn’t apply when it comes to managing your storage infrastructure, yet for many customers, it is a daily reality. One customer I recently met with said while attending an event in early 2014, he was surprised to learn that many of his peers are experiencing similar challenges to his company when it came to capacity management, often using spreadsheets to build a true picture of their capacity utilization. His comment piqued my curiosity, so I decided to do my own investigation.

Survey Says…
It turns out that a lot of customers are dealing with the same challenges, without any gains in IT efficiency. I researched a sampling of customers who purchased the EMC ViPR SRM  in Q4 2013 across a wide variety of vertical markets. Most customers either didn’t have a storage resource management solution or had a solution for only a portion of their environment. Some customers even had multiple tools.

SRM2Source: Sampling of EMC Q4 2013 ViPR SRM Sales

Challenge 1: Guessing Capacity Utilization

It was no surprise that 32% of customers are struggling with capacity utilization, planning and reporting. One customer told us “planning and budgeting for capacity is a best guess.” Several others said “ineffective capacity utilization resulted in over provisioning storage” wasting precious resources. Read about one customer’s challenges and how they were able to resolve them, maybe some of their pain points will be familiar to you.

Challenge 2: Rightsizing Performance
Analyzing and reporting on performance compliance to defined service level agreements was the motivation for 23% of the customers who purchased ViPR SRM. Many customers find themselves in the “war room” to determine the source of the problem. One customer told us they “need to quickly identify the source of performance bottlenecks, especially during critical peak usage such as Super Bowl Sunday.” Listento this video where one customer describes his challenges.

Challenge 3: Flying Blind
Fifteen percent indicated they struggle with a lack of overall infrastructure visibility, especially those with multiple data centers, multi-vendor storage and hundreds/thousands of hypervisors and virtual machines. They want a better understanding of end-to-end relationships and dependencies across the data path.

Challenge 4: Home-brewed Reporting
Ten percent of the customers surveyed are struggling with reporting, many using spreadsheets here as well. One customer told us “reporting is manual and time consuming, making it challenging to improve customer service levels.” A fashion industry leader told us they were challenged to provide reports to senior management because their infrastructure had grown so much and become so complex, it was too difficult and time consuming. Read more on their story here.

Source: Sampling of EMC Q4 2013 ViPR SRM Sales

Better Visibility & Control
This small study provides you with some insights into the challenges your peers are experiencing. Do you have similar challenges? Whether you’re just starting your transition to the 3rd Platform of IT technology or already well on your way, the question is “what are you going to do about increasing your visibility and control?” You can stay with the status quo or make a change that will enable you to get the most out of your current storage resources while helping you bridge the gap to the 3rd Platform. To learn more about how ViPR SRM can help you, we invite you to watch the webinar series found here.

About the Author: Paula Swanson