New Year – New Resolutions

Here are some ideas to consider for storage New Year's resolutions.

Health check: Take an analytical and more detailed look at the storage frames you have in your datacenter. Relying on automation for monitoring and alerting is fine, but what if something has been overlooked? What about those messages that keep occurring that everyone ignores? Maybe your monitoring and alerting needs to be reviewed because of new purchases or an upgrade? A quick health check of the storage will make sure you have covered all the aspects of error alerting, and there are no missed events that could cause you problems in the future.

Security: Review your storage and SAN security. Is it time to change those switch and storage passwords? When did they last change? Have they changed at all in the last year? Security starts with the basics, so maybe it's time to devise and implement a password change strategy that will make your storage landscape more secure. Also review who has access to the Command Line Interfaces for the SAN switch and storage software. Protection of the GUI interface is not enough to make your storage landscape secure.

Compatibility: The server may have been compatible with the storage and SAN at the time of deployment – but is it now? An audit of the servers connected to your storage landscape will quickly tell you if you're out of sync. Checking the Host Bus Adapter driver and firmware level against the stated storage vendors' compatibility list is not an easy task, particularly for the larger sized SANs. There are a few storage management tools on the market that are available to help you with this task. Review them for suitability for your environment and consider purchasing one that will assist in this task. It'll be money well spent in the long run once your SAN and storage landscape grows in size and complexity.

Don't forget to review where you are with storage microcode and OS levels. Maybe an upgrade is on the horizon and you need to prepare for it? SAN switch OS levels should also be checked for potential end-of-life dates in the coming year. Planning for upgrades now can help prevent incidents, or even worse, downtime for your landscape – both of which are costly.

Whether you use a storage vendors' product or have your own in-house written processes and procedures – a review of these topics should still be done to ensure that there are no nasty surprises in store for you in the New Year. If you get these basics out of the way, you can concentrate on the new challenges coming your way this year in the storage and SAN arena.

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