Two Days to an Annual Storage Strategy

Modernize your plan and make storage a business enabler.


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Your Challenge

  • Storage has changed dramatically over the last several years, with organizations storing more data for longer than ever. The scalability of legacy solutions is being pushed to the limit, both in terms of capacity and performance.
  • Most storage administrators are stuck in firefighting mode, reacting to problems as they arise rather than effectively planning ahead.
  • It’s all too tempting to stick with the approach that’s been used in the past simply because it’s the most familiar option. However, this might mean sticking with a solution that hasn’t performed as well as another option might.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Though the SAN as a technology isn’t going anywhere in the near future, emerging technologies such as flash storage, public cloud offerings, and converged systems have matured to the point where it is worth asking yourself “What if we didn’t use a SAN?”
  • The key to a successful storage strategy is to look both ways at once. Get a clear understanding of your environment and your requirements by opening the channels of communication with your users. At the same time, touch base with business leaders and build a forward-looking strategy that can help drive your organization’s future plans while responding nimbly to changing circumstances.

Impact and Result

  • Building and documenting a storage strategy can improve IT effectiveness by nearly 50%, and can enhance IT’s ability to respond to changing needs and expectations in an agile fashion.
  • Storage is always a major purchase. Having a strong sense of requirements and a clear idea of any future plans is the first step toward purchasing a storage solution that is driven by actual needs, not what a vendor wants to sell you.

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See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

  1. Audit the present storage state to identify pain points and potential solutions

    Understand emerging trends and if you want to implement them in your organization.

  2. Build a storage strategy that is best-fit for the organization

    Understand technologies that can meet specific organizational needs.

  3. Perform a gap analysis to determine the storage strategy

    Determine and strategize next steps in optimizing the storage environment.

  4. Document the annual storage strategy

    Create a plan to optimize the present storage environment over the coming year.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Review module one and assess the need for a refined storage strategy

    Discuss with an analyst storage pain points and identify emerging storage trends likely to affect the organization.

  • Call #2: Strategize responses to felt pain points and discuss with an analyst the potential rewards and challenges of a given approach

    Develop a prioritized list of initiatives that will be undertaken in the coming year.

  • Call #3: Identify business initiatives and assess with an analyst the potential impact they will have on the storage infrastructure

    Create a “blue sky” list of initiatives.

  • Call #4: Use a gap analysis to determine the barriers between the present state and the desired storage state

    Discuss with an analyst potential ways to overcome some of these barriers as well as alternative approaches.

  • Call #5: Build an implementation timeline and document the storage strategy into the strategy template

    Evaluate the annual storage strategy and review vendor solutions specific to the use case.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Make the Case for a Strategic Storage Plan

The Purpose

  • Understand the value of creating a storage strategy.
  • Identify emerging technologies that can help optimize the storage environment.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of trends that will significantly affect storage.
  • A strategy for presenting a business case to core stakeholders for the value of optimization.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Challenge Analysis
  • Make the Case mini-deck
1.2 High level discussion of potential approaches and barriers

Module 2: Audit Your Present Storage State

The Purpose

  • Audit the present storage state.
  • Identify trouble spots in the infrastructure.
  • Build a list of initiatives that respond to organizational challenges.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of pain points and challenges currently affecting the storage environment.
  • Pain points are pinpointed to specific regions of the storage infrastructure.
  • Identification of strategic responses to storage pain points.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Brainstorm storage pain points
  • Logical storage diagram
2.2 Map trouble spots in your storage infrastructure
  • Physical storage diagram
2.3 Document your present storage assets
  • Prioritized list of reactive storage initiatives
2.4 Map your storage assets to applications
2.5 Analyze pain points and isolate trouble spots
2.6 Construct a physical storage diagram and document feedback
2.7 Analyze the physical storage diagram to diagnose trouble spots
2.8 Turn storage trouble spots into IT initiatives
2.9 Categorize initiatives according to criticality

Module 3: Build a Strategy That’s Ready for the Road Ahead

The Purpose

  • Strategize responses to strategic business initiatives that will affect storage.
  • Plan the blue-sky storage vision.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Storage environment is transformed into a business enabler.
  • Documentation of desired storage initiatives to assist in long-term planning.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Identify the business impact of disruptive trends
  • Blue-sky list of storage initiatives
3.2 Turn disruptive trends into IT initiatives
3.3 Align storage strategy with business initiatives
3.4 Categorize your initiatives according to criticality
3.5 Draft your blue-sky storage vision

Module 4: Perform a Gap Analysis to Determine Your Storage Strategy

The Purpose

  • Define new storage solutions and initiatives and identify transition requirements.
  • Calculate total costs of proposed initiatives.
  • Formulate a project timeline.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develops a realistic list of storage initiatives for the coming year that meet organizational requirements and restrictions.
  • Creates a plan for implementing initiatives that will optimize the storage environment.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Determine in- and out-of-scope initiatives
  • Gap analysis document
4.2 Create a prioritized list of in-scope initiatives
  • Prioritized list of annual storage initiatives
4.3 Gap analysis
  • Total cost of ownership analysis of storage initiatives
4.4 Define technical requirements
  • Implementation timeline
4.5 Identify storage technology options that meet technical requirements
4.6 Estimate total cost of proposed initiatives
4.7 Use a sunrise diagram to plan upcoming initiatives
4.8 Create your strategic storage plan timeline

Module 5: Document Your Annual Storage Strategy

The Purpose

  • Document and communicate the proposed storage strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop a communication strategy to win stakeholder support.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Compile storage strategy outputs and assemble the storage strategy document
  • Annual storage strategy document

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 58934
Published: July 4, 2013
Last Revised: July 4, 2013

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