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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.

Research & Tools

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 Implementations

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

Discuss This Workshop

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 roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

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.




Challenge Analysis

  • Make the Case mini-deck

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.




Brainstorm storage pain points

  • Logical storage diagram

Map trouble spots in your storage infrastructure

  • Physical storage diagram

Document your present storage assets

  • Prioritized list of reactive storage initiatives

Map your storage assets to applications


Analyze pain points and isolate trouble spots


Construct a physical storage diagram and document feedback


Analyze the physical storage diagram to diagnose trouble spots


Turn storage trouble spots into IT initiatives


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.




Identify the business impact of disruptive trends

  • Blue-sky list of storage initiatives

Turn disruptive trends into IT initiatives


Align storage strategy with business initiatives


Categorize your initiatives according to criticality


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.




Determine in- and out-of-scope initiatives

  • Gap analysis document

Create a prioritized list of in-scope initiatives

  • Prioritized list of annual storage initiatives

Gap analysis

  • Total cost of ownership analysis of storage initiatives

Define technical requirements

  • Implementation timeline

Identify storage technology options that meet technical requirements


Estimate total cost of proposed initiatives


Use a sunrise diagram to plan upcoming initiatives


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.




Compile storage strategy outputs and assemble the storage strategy document

  • Annual storage strategy document

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