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Managing Storage

Trends, Challenges, and Options


Revised for 2007-2008

Alok Shrivastava
Senior Director, Education Services
Provided by EMC Corporation

1-800-843-8733
www.learningtree.ca

©2007 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.


LEARNING TREE INTERNATIONAL White Paper

T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Executive Summary


The explosion of data, its criticality, and increasing
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
dependency of business on digital information are
leading to larger and more complex storage environ-
2. Challenges Faced by ments that are increasingly challenging to manage.
IT/Storage Managers . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Poorly designed or managed storage infrastructures
3. Complex Storage Environments . . . 6 put the entire business at risk in the event of a
catastrophic failure. A robust storage infrastructure
3.1 Storage Technology Segments . . . 6 requires highly reliable equipment as well as a strong
team of experts to manage it efficiently.
4. Formalized Storage Groups . . . . . . 7 This paper focuses on storage infrastructure and
presents findings from a global survey of more than
4.1 Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1,200 IT professionals. This study will help IT managers
benchmark their plans to the overall trends in the
4.2 Storage Group Size . . . . . . . . . . . 9 industry. The first such study was published in 2006
and a large number of IT and storage managers used the
4.3 Storage Group Skills and information to refine their planning and decision-making.
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

4.4 Sources for Storage Skills . . . . . . 11 Key Challenges


IT/storage managers and storage professionals
4.5 Storage Group skills Model . . . . . 13 across companies of all sizes face the following
mission-critical challenges:
5. Recommendations and
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 • Managing storage growth
• Designing, deploying, and managing backup/recovery
6. EMC Response and Initiatives . . . . 15
• Designing, deploying, and managing disaster recovery
About Learning Tree . . . . . . . . . . . 16 • Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
• Designing, deploying, and managing multi-site,
About The Author and multi-vendor environments
EMC Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
• Designing and deploying emerging storage
technologies
• Shortage ofskilled storage professionals
• Managing data availability/data retention compliance
Explosive growth in storage requirements and a widening
storage technology knowledge gap across the industry
are making all of the above mission-critical tasks even
more challenging.

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Complex Storage Environments managing, and operations. While the structure of


the group, titles, and roles may not be standardized,
Despite the differences in industry segments and the
responsibilities and tasks are common across
sizes of data centers, there is a strong consistency
companies.
across all companies in terms of the technology
deployed, storage management practices, and A strong correlation was found between the installed
challenges. storage capacity and the size of the storage group. The
ratio is high at lower capacities, and it reduces as the
Nearly all critical data is now stored on external
installed capacity grows. One storage professional is
disk storage subsystems. The average usable capacity
deployed to manage every 20 TB (1:20) of usable
is approximately 222 TB which is typically spread
storage for installations having up to 100 TB of usable
across multiple sites. Growth in storage requirements,
storage. At500 TB, the ratio reduces to 1:40.
larger capacity disks and subsystems, and affordable
pricing have allled to large storage configurations. Based on IT and storage manager feedback, approx-
Over 45 percent of responding companies now have imately one-half of existing storage team scan manage
more than 100 TB of usable storage to manage. SANs, backup and recovery, and storage subsystems.
However, only 10–25 percent of the existing storage
Storage subsystems, SANs, and backup/recovery
teams are adequately prepared to manage IP-SAN,
technologies are most commonly implemented,
CAS, local replication, and NAS. Overall, the managers
followed by replication, NAS, and DAS technologies.
assess that approx 35 percent of their teams are very
IP SAN and CAS technologies have started to
capable while the other approximately two-thirds of
emerge in these companies. Each of these storage
their teams require further development.
technology segments is unique, offering its own
specific business and operational value.
Each requires a different set of skills for effective
Storage Technology Knowledge Gap
design and management. Lack of knowledge and Participants in this study and their companies have
expertise in a specific segment can lead to under- very aggressive plans to hire storage professionals in
deployment of one or more of these technologies. the next 12 months. Their forecasts indicate two to three
times growth of their existing staff.
Criticality of Storage and the Need for Managers prefer to hire experienced or certified storage
Formalized Storage Groups professionals. However, a severe shortage of such skills in
Storage infrastructure is mission-critical. Losing the marketplace is causing managers to resort frequently
storage in a catastrophic situation can severely to internal recruitment.
damage a business. When a disaster does occur, The shortage of experienced storage professionals and
information on storage sub-systems can be lost the lack of storage technology education in the market-
permanently unless a well-designed recovery place and in academics have restricted the growth of
mechanism has been planned and implemented. information storage and management functions. EMC
In addition to reliable equipment, a well-structured has taken the lead and has initiated storage technology
storage group of highly skilled professionals is education by collaborating with several leading universi-
critical to build and maintain a high-performance, ties and IT training companies.
high availability storage infrastructure.
Storage groups are responsible for overall planning,
design, implementation, monitoring, administering,

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Recommendations and Conclusions


Based on the findings of this study, IT managers • EMC Technology-Specific Learning Paths
and storage managers must ensure that: – Help leverage extensive capabilities of EMC
• Formalized storage groups are built and adequately technology and solutions
staffed – Comprehensive coverage for all segments of
• Skills assessments and development of storage EMC technology
professionals are top priorities
• EMC ProvenTM Professional Certification Program
• Storage teams include specialists for each of the – Formal validation and recognition
deployed storage technologysegments
– Option of ‘Open’ and/or more than 10 EMC
• Application, systems, database, and network technology specialties
administration groups learn storage technology
– Exclusive Knowledge Maintenance feature
and work closely with the storage group
The serious shortage of skilled storage professionals All of the above education solutions are available globally
also creates attractive opportunities for the next via EMC® Education Services to EMC customers, partners,
generation of IT professionals and for those looking and employees.
for a different career in a challenging, high-growth, In an attempt to help address the widening knowledge
and dynamic industry. gap in the industry, the following exclusive programs
were introduced to enable non-EMC users, as well as
EMC’s Response and Initiatives university students, to take advantage of the ‘open’
storage technology curriculum to build a successful
EMC recognizes the need for more highly-skilled
career in this high-growth industry:
professionals in its customer base and acrossthe entire
IT industry. EMC conducted this study to identify EMC AcademicAlliance Program
deficiencies in the storage industry and to identify how
‘Open’ storage technology curriculum for students in
we can contribute to addressing these challenges.
colleges and universities, targeted tohelp build a highly-
The following key initiatives offer options for storage skilled pool of future storage managers and professionals.
managers and professionals to acquire or improve their
skills to benefit their organizations: EMC Learning PartnerProgram

Education Solutions ‘Open’ storage technology curriculum, offered by leading,


independent IT training companies, designed to build or
• ‘Open’ Storage Technology Curriculum
improve storage technology skills leading to better design
– Unique offering in the industry; leads with concepts and management of efficient storage infrastructures.
and principles
– Covers all segments of information storage and
management technology

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1. Introduction • Further details related to storage groups such as


job titles, tasks and responsibilities, and hiring plans
In a recent study commissioned by EMC, the industry
analyst firm IDC estimates that the total volume of Global trends are identified in areas related to:
digital information created in 2010 will surge six-fold
• Technical environments
to an astonishing 988 exabytes—988 billion gigabytes—
compared to 2006. And while most of this information • Management challenges
will be created by individuals, 85 percent of it will be • Practices for building storage management groups
managed by organizations.
• Options for acquiring more or better storage skills
This unprecedented explosion of data, its increasing
criticality, and business’ dependency on digitized The study was carried out between December 2006
information are leading to larger and more complex and February 2007. We used comprehensive surveys
storage environments that are increasingly challenging and reached out to thousands of storage professionals
to manage. From the perspective of data availability to assemble and compile this information. The study
and protection, information storage infrastructure is the included:
most critical component of an overall IT infrastructure. • All major geographies and major industry segments
It plays a critical role in making applications work
efficiently, both locally and across multiple sites. With • EMC users as well as those using storage solutions
the increasing complexity and criticality of storage, from other vendors
highly skilled and focused storage groups are as • Large, medium, and small enterprises
mission-critical as the technologybeing deployed.
This paper summarizes a global research study that
was conducted to learn how companies are meeting Europe &
Americas Middle East
these challenging requirements. These findings will 58% 28%
assist IT and storage managers to compare and
correlate their plans with the overall trends in the
industry. Even though each company has unique
requirements, this information will be helpful in
building stronger and more efficient storage Asia-Pacific
Japan
management teams. Stronger storage management 14%
teams will, in turn, lead to more robust storage Figure 1 – Geographic distribution of
infrastructures. participants represented

The first such study was carried out by EMC in


2005–2006 and was found to be very useful by IT Up to $100m
17% $100m-
and storage managers globally. The updates and $500m
14%
revisions include:
$500m - $1B
10%
• Most current information via global survey of Not Known
28%
over 1,200 managers (15 percent) and storage
professionals (85 percent)
• Information on data centers and processing
centers instead of entire enterprise
Over $1B
31%
• Focus on usable storage capacities instead of
installed raw capacities Figure 2 – Annual revenue of companies

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2. Challenges Faced by IT and IT and Storage Managers


Storage Managers
80% Managing storage growth
IT and storage managers and storage professionals
identified the following activities and constraints as 61% Designing, deploying, and managing backup
their key challenges. These challenges are common and recovery
to both large enterprises as well as SME (small and 58% Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
medium enterprises) sectors of the industry. recovery solutions

48% Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions


Challenges Identified by IT and 40% Designing and deploying multi-site environments
Storage Managers and Professionals
36% Designing and deploying emerging storage
• Managing storage growth technologies (such as storage virtualization,
IP SAN, GRID, etc.)
• Designing, deploying, and managing backup
30% Lack of skilled storage professionals
and recovery
27% Compliance regulations
• Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
recovery solutions
Storage Professionals
• Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions 73% Managing storage growth
• Designing and deploying multi-site environments 62% Designing, deploying, and managing backup and
recovery
• Designing and deploying emerging storage technologies
(such as storage virtualization, IP SAN, GRID, etc.) 61% Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
recovery solutions
• Lack of skilled storage professionals
42% Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
• Managing data availability/data retention compliance
42% Designing and deploying multi-site environments

Table 1 – Most important activities/constraints identified 36% Designing and deploying emerging storage
as challenges by managers and professionals technologies (such as storage virtualization,
IP SAN, GRID, etc.)

Each of these activities is ongoing at various levels in each 31% Lack of skilled storage professionals
of the companies. Activities such as backup/recovery have
23% Compliance regulations
been in practice for decades; still the professionals believe
that they are not doing enough or not performing them
Table 2 – What keeps them awake;
well. The following table summarizes the input from pain points in order of priority identified by
managers and professionals. There is a strong synergy managers and individual contributors
between the managers and individual contributors as
they have identified exactly the same challenges in Explosive growth in storage requirements and the storage
similar priority order. professionals’ knowledge and skill gaps are the primary
reasons for not executing many of these activities to the
desired levels. These gaps are not necessarily due to lack
of competence, but to the fact that a comprehensive
storage technology education has not been available.

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For example, colleges and universities have not, until 3.1 Storage Technology Segments
now, included storage technology in their courses.
Storage technology deployment and its importance to the
On the other hand, vendor training typically focuses
data center aligned with general market trends for each of
on their products covering deployment and usage
the storage technology segments.
rather than building skills and competency to architect, de-
sign, integrate, and manage entire infrastructure • Storage subsystems, by default, are the most important
and end-to-end information lifecycle. segment as they provide the backbone infrastructure,
We will learn the methodology by which most storage pro- storage capacity, reliability, availability, performance,
fessionals acquire knowledge and build skills to and connectivity.
carry out their assignments in section 4 of this paper. • Two segments, storage areas networks (SANs) and
backup/recovery (BR), were rated important by more
3. Complex Storage Environments than 75 percent of the storage professionals.
This study sought to determine the similarities and • Remote replication was considered important by 50–75
differences among storage infrastructures. The percent of storage professionals
responses reveal that data centers across the
• NAS and local replication are considered important by
Americas, Europe, and Asia have deployed very
25–50 percent of the professionals
similar storage solutions, including hardware and
software. The sizes vary based upon business • CAS, IP-SAN, and emerging technologies are considered
requirements, or in some cases, a particular vendor important by 10–25 percent of the professionals.
may have a stronger presence in a given environment,
but on the whole, the deployed technology and Each of the technology segments is unique, bringing its
challenges are very similar. own specific business or operational values. For example,
SAN and NAS provide connectivity options with unique
• Nearly 80 percent of the companies have multi-site functionality, while BR and replication technologies provide
data processing environments. options for information protection against planned and
• Nearly 80 percent of the companies are at various unplanned outages.
stages of storage consolidation.
• Nearly 45 percent of the companies have 100 TB
or more usable storage to manage.
• Average installed usable capacity is approximately
222 TB.
Over 1PB Over 1PB
15% 15%

500TB-1PB 500TB-1PB
10% 10%

Up to 100TB Up to 100TB
55% 55%

100-500TB 100-500TB
20% 20%

Figure 3 – Distribution of multi-site Figure 4 – Distribution of storage capacity


data processing environments across represented companies
(Number of data center/processing
facilities across represented companies)

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These technology segments (Figures 5 and 6) are at 100%

various stages of evolution and maturity. Each is 80%


considered sophisticated and complex, and each

% Respondents
60%
requires unique skills to assess, plan, design, deploy,
and manage them effectively. Deploying specialized 40%

experts within the teams, dedicated to their specialty 20%


segments, is the most effective way to manage such
0%
diverse technology. SAN Backup/ Remote NAS Local CAS IP-SAN
Recovery Repl. Repl.

4. Formalized Storage Groups Figure 5 – Storage technology segments


and their relative importance
Storage infrastructure is mission-critical and nearly
40 percent of infrastructure budgets is allocated to
storage-related products and services. A well-structured
storage group of highly skilled professionals is critical
100%
to building and maintaining high-performance, highly
80%
available storage infrastructures.
% Respondents

60%
Job titles and descriptions of dedicated storage
professionals are evolving. The following are the most 40%
common job functions being deployed by the studied
20%
organizations:
0%
SAN Backup/ NAS Repli- DAS IP-SAN CAS
• Storage Manager Manager of the formalized Recovery cation
storage team or used inter
changeably for Storage Figure 6 – Most common Storage technology
Administrator segments implemented

• Storage Responsible for day-to-day


Administrator administration, provisioning,
configuration management,
monitoring, availability Storage Managers
management, etc.
Storage Administrators
• Backup and Responsible for day-to-day
Recovery backup and recovery-related BR Administrators
Administrator operations
Storage Architects
• Storage Architect Responsible for capacity
BC Adminstrators
planning, technology
planning/design, and process Others
management
0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%
• Disaster Recovery Responsible for disaster recovery,
Administrator or backup and recovery, planning, Figure 7 – Distribution of storage-related functions
Business Continuity implementation and management across 660 respondents

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4.1 Responsibilities
Storage groups are responsible for the overall planning, The list includes various job functions, including storage
design, implementation, monitoring, managing, testing, administration, architects, DR admin., BR admin., etc.
and operating all components of the infrastructure. Percent time captured for each of the activities highlights
Interactions with IT and storage managers and the effort involved and possible importance of the tasks.
professionals resulted in the list of activities/tasks for This list could be used as a tool to define responsibilities
which they are responsible (Table 3). of the storage group and individuals.

Storage Group—Tasks & Responsibilities % Time Spent

• Design and/or participate in design of storage infrastructure 12.3%

• Troubleshooting 11.3%

• Managing the implementation of storage infrastructure 10.7%

• Backup and recovery of information/data 9.9%

• Integration of the storage infrastructure, databases, and applications 9.9%

• Provisioning of storage infrastructure 8.6%

• Monitoring of storage infrastructure 7.2%

• Storage capacity planning 5.4%

• Evaluating storage technologies from different vendors 4.8%

• Other storage-related activities 3.9%

• Monitoring of local and/or remote replication data 3.0%

• Storage infrastructure reporting 2.7%

• Educating non-storage functions (DBAs, Network Admins., etc.)


on storage technology 2.7%

• Participating in IT disaster recovery exercise or drill 2.4%

• Developing and maintaining storage service-level agreements 2.2%

• Designing and managing storage and information security 1.7%

• Defining and implementing archival requirements 1.4%

Table 3 – Typical tasks and responsibilities of storage teams


and percent of time spent over past 12 months

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Another equally important dimension of these responsi- The ratio of installed capacity to the number of
bilities is their alignment to different storage technology professionals in the storage team is high at lower
segments. Skills and processes are required to manage capacities and it reduces as the capacity increases.
these tasks against expected expertise inone or more If we count 100 percent dedicated storage profes-
assigned “specialty” or storage technology segments. sionals (if two individuals are spending 50 percent
of their time on storage-related activities, they are
Figure 8 illustrates the percent of time spent in the last
counted as one professional in this exercise), the
12 months by key technology segments implemented.
current ratio at 100 TB is 1:20 (one professional for
every 20 TB installed). In other words, five fulltime,
40%
dedicated professionals are managing a storage
% Time invested in last 12 months

pool of 100 TB and its associated applications.

20%
The ratio reached 1:40 at 500 TB, where approx.
12–13 professionals are managing 500 TB. In larger
storage infrastructures, the ratio continues to reduce.
Typically, 17 professionals are managing 1 PB of
0%
SAN Backup/ Storage NAS Remote Local CAS IP-SAN storage (ratio nearly 1:60).
Recovery Sub- Repli. Repli.
systems

Figure 8 – Percent of time spent by storage professionals 4.3 Storage Group Skills and Performance
by storage technology segment (last 12 months)
Analysis of IT and storage managers’ assessment
of skill levels leads to the conclusion that about 35
4.2 Storage Group Size percent of their teams are properly skilled to carry out
The storage group consists of multiple roles that include their responsibilities, whereas the remaining nearly
storage architects, managers, and administrators. We two-thirds of their teams require additional skills,
continue to find a strong correlation between the number knowledge, and development.
of professionals engaged in storage-related activities and This is a key challenge for storage managers because
installed storage capacity. it underscores the very real skills gap in their teams.
Sub-optimal skills yield sub-optimal storage deploy-
1600
ment. On the other hand, a well-skilled team will
Installed Usable Storage Capacity (TB)

1400
lead to higher productivity, better deployment and
1200
management of technology, and optimization of
1000
800
the number of professionals required.
600
400
200

0
2 3 4 5 12 17 25
# Professionals dedicated to managing storage infrastructure

Figure 9 – Number of storage professionals


vs. storage capacity they manage

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Figure 10 below illustrates the overall rating of the storage level of expertise within the overall storage team in the
teams against the identified tasks and responsibilities represented companies.
(Table 3). Strong, moderate, and weak bars indicate the

Design Storage Infrastructure


Manage Implementations
Backup/Recovery
Integration with Applications
Provisioning
Monitoring
Capacity Planning
Vendor Assessments
Replication
Reporting
DR
Maintain SLAs
Security
Archival

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Strong Moderate Weak

Figure 10 – Ability to execute tasks – skill levels of storage professionals


to carry out their tasks and activities

SAN

B/R

Subsystems

NAS

Remote Repl.

Local Repl.

CAS

IP SAN

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Strong Moderate Weak

Figure 11 – Competence by storage technology segments

Figure 11 maps skill sets of the storage teams against the in relevant technology segment (from Figure 11) will
important technology segments. Skill levels of the teams paint a clear picture of the effective competence of the
in SAN, backup/recovery, and storage subsystems are storage group. Detailed assessment of each individual
rated high, while skills in NAS, remote replication, local within the group is required to ascertain strengths
replication, etc. are rated low. A correlation between ability and weaknesses for each task and related technology
to execute tasks (as shown in Figure 10) and competence segment.

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4.4 Sources for Hiring and Development


The most significant challenge faced by IT and storage the lack of skilled resources becomes a serious bottleneck.
managers is the shortage of skilled storage professionals Figure 12 highlights the level of hiring requirements across
in the marketplace. In fact, lack of skilled storage profes- the industry. The hiring plans indicate a growth of two to
sionals is the most serious industry challenge. three times the number of existing staff are required to be
Considering the aggressive hiring requirements and plans, hired, trained, and deployed.

Storage Managers 203%

Storage Administrators 153%

Storage Architects 88% % Growth in


Staffing Requirements
BC Adminstrators 103%

BR Administrators 126%

Others 415% Current To Hire

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500


Number of People

Figure 12 – Hiring requirements for next 12 months

Figure 13 shows the preferred hiring options. The majority hiring new employees. The next best alternative is to
of managers prefer to hire experienced professionals to hire well-trained and certified individuals.
reduce the learning period and reduce risks associated with

Hire Experienced

Hire Certified

Internal Appointment

Engage Consultants

Hire College Graduate

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
% of Managers

Figure 13 – Ability to execute tasks – skill levels of storage professionals


to carry out their tasks and activities

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With the shortage of skilled manpower in the industry— On-the-job-training, technology vendor training, and
capable, experienced, skilled individuals are usually self-development by reading manuals are preferred
not available for hiring. Major factors for this skills sources of storage training and development, followed
shortage include lack of storage technology education by training for certifications and training provided by
in the marketplace and in academia. EMC has taken independent IT training companies.
the lead and successfully introduced storage technology
On-the-job training, technology vendor training, and
curriculum (and certification) in several universities
self-development by reading manuals typically cover
as well as in the open market via public classes. A lot
usage and management of products and technology
more needs to be done to convert this industry-wide
that is either already implemented or is in the process
bottleneck into lucrative employment opportunities
of being implemented. In addition, there is a need for
for aspiring professionals.
wider and deeper training focusing on underlying
Given that there are very limited numbers of certified technology concepts, planning, designing and managing.
or well-skilled storage professionals in the market, This will enable the storage professionals to indepen-
managers frequently resort to internal recruitment. dently and more-efficiently design and deploy storage
Often the internal recruitment involves moving an infrastructures fully leveraging the capabilities
existing valuable employee who has a different expertise of all applicable storage technology segments.
(such as operating systems, databases, etc.), but has
very limited knowledge about storage technology.

On-the-job Training

Vendor Training

Self Development

Certification Training

IT Training Companies

In-house Training

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%


% of Managers

Figure 14 – Most-trusted training sources for development of storage skills

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4.5 Storage Group Skills Model Specialization: Advancements in technology and the
rapid introduction of highly sophisticated solutions have
Another important aspect to consider is breadth and
made it nearly impossible for “everyone in the team to be
depth of knowledge and skills required to perform the
expert at everything.”The number of individuals and their
storage-related functions effectively. There is a need for
specialties can be assigned based upon the assignment
a well-defined skills model which can be applied to both
requirements (such as storage administration and manage-
development and deployment of expertise in the group.
ment or planning and designing) and technology deployed
At the very least, three distinct requirements can be in the infrastructure (storage subsystems, SAN, NAS, CAS,
identified (represented as Skills Pyramid in Figure 15). replication, backup/recovery, etc.).
Foundations: Required for all members of the team. Formal specialization assignments also will help address
Strong understanding of underlying technical concepts the development needs for nearly two-thirds of the
across all storage technology segments is a must to be existing workforce.
able to:
Expertise Development: Depending upon deployed
1. Fully understand products and technology in each technology and application environments, a number of
segment; experts may be required in the storage group. Two distinct
2. Design and manage end-to-end lifecycle of focus areas can be identified for expertise development:
information/data from creation to archiving; and • Deeper knowledge of deployed products and technology
3. Make accurate technology decisions while designing will help maximize performance and availability.
information infrastructure for critical processing • Ability to integrate technology with applications
environments. (databases, e-mail systems, etc.) will help deploy well-
integrated solutions.

- Expert level knowledge to maximize


performance and availability
- Application integrated
storage infrastructure

- Align to assignments
and responsibilities
- In-depth skills in selected
technology segment(s)

- Technology concepts
& principles
- All storage technology
segments

Figure 15 – Storage Group Skills Pyramid

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5. Recommendations and Conclusions


From the perspective of data availability and protection, structure is hampered by a lackof broad and deep
information storage infrastructure is the most-critical knowledge.
component of an overall IT infrastructure. It plays a Well-constructed, comprehensive, and strategic plans
critical role in making applications work efficiently, both must be efficiently implemented to meet the challenges
locally and across multiple sites. With the increasing of managing multi-site, multi-vendor environments.
complexity and criticality of storage, highly skilled
and focused \storage groups are as mission-critical as • Companies without formal and focused storage
the technology being deployed. management groups must evaluate this mission-critical
requirement.
This study underscores a widening knowledge and skill
gap in this mission-critical industry. • Companies with dedicated storage teams must
carefully analyze skills requirements and current skill
A very aggressive hiring requirement is possibly the
levels in their teams.
most important challenge faced by the managers today,
which becomes even more challenging considering the • Companies must develop specialized experts in each of
shortage of experienced or certified professionals. the storage technology segments they have deployed.
Nearly two-thirds of the storage professionals employed • Storage technology vendors should develop knowledge
today require additional knowledge and skills to perform and skills in the industry when they introduce new
their responsibilities efficiently. This is an important technologies.
revelation.
• Leading universities, colleges, and training providers
Due to the lack of comprehensive storage technology must include storage technology courses in their
education in the industry, most of the currently deployed curricula to offer their graduates career opportunities
professionals have relied on on-the-job training, vendor in this high growth industry. The next generation of IT
product training and self-development. Though probably professionals, or anyone looking for a different career
adequate for day-to-day administration, however, the path, has a great opportunity to learn the skills and
ability to make informed strategic decisions and to meet the demands in this high-growth, dynamic
proactively plan, design, and man-age storage infra- environment.

©2007 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.


Managing Storage: Trends, Challenges, and Options 14
1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca LEARNING TREE INTERNATIONAL White Paper

6. EMC’s Response and Initiatives


EMC Education Services conducted this study to identify All of the above education solutions are available globally
and address challenges faced by managers in the storage via EMC Education Services to EMC customers, partners,
industry. and employees.
The following key initiatives offer options for storage In an attempt to help address the widening knowledge
managers and professionals to acquire or improve their gap in the industry, the following exclusive programs have
skills to benefit their organizations: been introduced which enable non-EMC users as well
as university students to take advantage of ‘open’ storage
Education Solutions technology curriculum and to build a successful career in
• ‘Open’ Storage Technology Curriculum this high-growth industry.
– Unique offering in the industry; leads with concepts
and principles EMC Academic Alliance Program
– Covers all segments of information storage and • ‘Open’ Storage Technology Curriculum for students
management technology in colleges and universities, targeted to help build a
– Adapted by several universities highly skilled pool of future storage managers and
professionals.
– Public classes by independent training providers
for non-EMC users • Introduced in mid-2006, the program has helped
establish alliances with a large number of universities
• EMC Technology-Specific Learning Paths in several countries.
– Help leverage extensive capabilities of EMC
technology and solutions EMC Learning Partner Program
– Comprehensive coverage for all segments of ‘Open’ Storage Technology Curriculum, offered by
EMC technology leading, independent IT training companies, designed
to build or improve storage technology skills leading to
– Prepare for EMC Proven Professional Certification
better design and management of efficient storage
• EMC Proven Professional Certification Program infrastructures.
– Formal validation and recognition For more information on the programs, offerings, alliances,
– Option of ‘Open’ and/or more than 10 EMC and partnerships, visit www.EMC.com/training
technology specialties
– Exclusive Knowledge Maintenance feature

©2007 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.


Managing Storage: Trends, Challenges, and Options 15
1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca LEARNING TREE INTERNATIONAL White Paper

About Learning Tree International About the Author


Learning Tree International is a leading worldwide Alok Shrivastava
provider of vendor-independent training to managers Senior Director, Education Services
and IT professionals in business and government EMC Global Services
organizations. Since 1974, over 1,700, 000 course EMC Corporation
participants from over 13,000 organizations worldwide Shrivastava_alok@EMC.com
have enhanced their skills and extended their knowledge
Alok Shrivastava is responsible for technology
under the guidance of expert instructors with real-
education, certification, and programs within EMC
world experience. Learning Tree develops, markets and
Education Services. Key areas of his responsibility
delivers a broad, proprietary library of instructor-led
include technical training and field readiness, EMC
courses focused on the latest information technologies,
Proven Professional Certification, internal commu-
management practices and key business skills.
nications and program management, new product
Learning Tree International annually trains over readiness, Storage Technologist “Open”Training and
87,000 professionals in its Education Centers around Certification, EMC Learning Partner program, and
the world. Learning Tree also provides training in a the EMC Academic Alliance program. Prior to
number of additional cities and on site at customer joining the EMC Education Services team in 2003,
locations in 26 countries. For more information Mr. Shrivastava was responsible for building and
about Learning Tree products and services, call leading a strong sales engineering team for the EMC
1-800-THE-TREE (1-800-843-8733), or visit our Asia-Pacific/Japan region. In his nearly 25-year
Web site at www.learningtree.ca professional career, he has been an application
developer, storage manager, systems manager, pre-
and post-sales consultant, sales engineering manager,
and director of the sales engineering function at the
regional level.

Atlanta Los Angeles Boston Chicago


About EMC Corporation
EMC Corporation is a world leader in systems, soft-
ware services, and solutions for building and managing
intelligent, flexible, and secure information infra-
Washington, DC New York City Toronto London
structures. EMC enables organizations to maximize
the value of their information assets by implementing
and accelerating information lifecycle management
(ILM) strategies.
Paris Ottawa Stockholm Tokyo
Learning Tree is an EMC Proven
Professional Learning Partner. The
Learning Tree Course, Storage Technology
Foundations, developed in conjunction
with EMC Corporation, leads to EMC
Proven Professional“Storage Technologist”
Associate Level Certification (EMCPA).

©2007 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.


WPEMC 0711CN
Managing Storage: Trends, Challenges, and Options 16