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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.
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2. Challenges Faced by
IT/Storage Managers . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3. Complex Storage Environments . . . 6
3.1 Storage Technology Segments . . . 6
4. Formalized Storage Groups . . . . . . 7
4.1 Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
4.2 Storage Group Size . . . . . . . . . . . 9
4.3 Storage Group Skills and
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
4.4 Sources for Storage Skills . . . . . . 11
4.5 Storage Group skills Model . . . . . 13
5. Recommendations and
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
6. EMC Response and Initiatives . . . . 15
About Learning Tree . . . . . . . . . . . 16
About The Author and
EMC Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Executive Summary
The explosion of data, its criticality, and increasing
dependency of business on digital information are
leading to larger and more complex storage environ-
ments that are increasingly challenging to manage.
Poorly designed or managed storage infrastructures
put the entire business at risk in the event of a
catastrophic failure. A robust storage infrastructure
requires highly reliable equipment as well as a strong
team of experts to manage it efciently.
This paper focuses on storage infrastructure and
presents ndings from a global survey of more than
1,200 IT professionals. This study will help IT managers
benchmark their plans to the overall trends in the
industry. The rst such study was published in 2006
and a large number of IT and storage managers used the
information to rene their planning and decision-making.
Key Challenges
IT/storage managers and storage professionals
across companies of all sizes face the following
mission-critical challenges:
Managing storage growth
Designing, deploying, and managing backup/recovery
Designing, deploying, and managing disaster recovery
Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
Designing, deploying, and managing multi-site,
multi-vendor environments
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.
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
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Complex Storage Environments
Despite the differences in industry segments and the
sizes of data centers, there is a strong consistency
across all companies in terms of the technology
deployed, storage management practices, and
challenges.
Nearly all critical data is now stored on external
disk storage subsystems. The average usable capacity
is approximately 222 TB which is typically spread
across multiple sites. Growth in storage requirements,
larger capacity disks and subsystems, and affordable
pricing have allled to large storage congurations.
Over 45 percent of responding companies now have
more than 100 TB of usable storage to manage.
Storage subsystems, SANs, and backup/recovery
technologies are most commonly implemented,
followed by replication, NAS, and DAS technologies.
IP SAN and CAS technologies have started to
emerge in these companies. Each of these storage
technology segments is unique, offering its own
specic business and operational value.
Each requires a different set of skills for effective
design and management. Lack of knowledge and
expertise in a specic segment can lead to under-
deployment of one or more of these technologies.
Criticality of Storage and the Need for
Formalized Storage Groups
Storage infrastructure is mission-critical. Losing
storage in a catastrophic situation can severely
damage a business. When a disaster does occur,
information on storage sub-systems can be lost
permanently unless a well-designed recovery
mechanism has been planned and implemented.
In addition to reliable equipment, a well-structured
storage group of highly skilled professionals is
critical to build and maintain a high-performance,
high availability storage infrastructure.
Storage groups are responsible for overall planning,
design, implementation, monitoring, administering,
managing, and operations. While the structure of
the group, titles, and roles may not be standardized,
responsibilities and tasks are common across
companies.
A strong correlation was found between the installed
storage capacity and the size of the storage group. The
ratio is high at lower capacities, and it reduces as the
installed capacity grows. One storage professional is
deployed to manage every 20 TB (1:20) of usable
storage for installations having up to 100 TB of usable
storage. At500 TB, the ratio reduces to 1:40.
Based on IT and storage manager feedback, approx-
imately one-half of existing storage team scan manage
SANs, backup and recovery, and storage subsystems.
However, only 1025 percent of the existing storage
teams are adequately prepared to manage IP-SAN,
CAS, local replication, and NAS. Overall, the managers
assess that approx 35 percent of their teams are very
capable while the other approximately two-thirds of
their teams require further development.
Storage Technology Knowledge Gap
Participants in this study and their companies have
very aggressive plans to hire storage professionals in
the next 12 months. Their forecasts indicate two to three
times growth of their existing staff.
Managers prefer to hire experienced or certied storage
professionals. However, a severe shortage of such skills in
the marketplace is causing managers to resort frequently
to internal recruitment.
The shortage of experienced storage professionals and
the lack of storage technology education in the market-
place and in academics have restricted the growth of
information storage and management functions. EMC
has taken the lead and has initiated storage technology
education by collaborating with several leading universi-
ties and IT training companies.
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Recommendations and Conclusions
Based on the ndings of this study, IT managers
and storage managers must ensure that:
Formalized storage groups are built and adequately
staffed
Skills assessments and development of storage
professionals are top priorities
Storage teams include specialists for each of the
deployed storage technologysegments
Application, systems, database, and network
administration groups learn storage technology
and work closely with the storage group
The serious shortage of skilled storage professionals
also creates attractive opportunities for the next
generation of IT professionals and for those looking
for a different career in a challenging, high-growth,
and dynamic industry.
EMCs Response and Initiatives
EMC recognizes the need for more highly-skilled
professionals in its customer base and acrossthe entire
IT industry. EMC conducted this study to identify
deciencies in the storage industry and to identify how
we can contribute to addressing these challenges.
The following key initiatives offer options for storage
managers and professionals to acquire or improve their
skills to benet their organizations:
Education Solutions
Open Storage Technology Curriculum
Unique offering in the industry; leads with concepts
and principles
Covers all segments of information storage and
management technology
EMC Technology-Specic Learning Paths
Help leverage extensive capabilities of EMC
technology and solutions
Comprehensive coverage for all segments of
EMC technology
EMC Proven
TM

Professional Certication Program
Formal validation and recognition
Option of Open and/or more than 10 EMC
technology specialties
Exclusive Knowledge Maintenance feature
All of the above education solutions are available globally
via EMC

Education Services to EMC customers, partners,
and employees.
In an attempt to help address the widening knowledge
gap in the industry, the following exclusive programs
were introduced to enable non-EMC users, as well as
university students, to take advantage of the open
storage technology curriculum to build a successful
career in this high-growth industry:
EMC AcademicAlliance Program
Open storage technology curriculum for students in
colleges and universities, targeted tohelp build a highly-
skilled pool of future storage managers and professionals.
EMC Learning PartnerProgram
Open storage technology curriculum, offered by leading,
independent IT training companies, designed to build or
improve storage technology skills leading to better design
and management of efcient storage infrastructures.
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1. Introduction
In a recent study commissioned by EMC, the industry
analyst rm IDC estimates that the total volume of
digital information created in 2010 will surge six-fold
to an astonishing 988 exabytes988 billion gigabytes
compared to 2006. And while most of this information
will be created by individuals, 85 percent of it will be
managed by organizations.
This unprecedented explosion of data, its increasing
criticality, and business dependency on digitized
information are leading to larger and more complex
storage environments that are increasingly challenging
to manage. From the perspective of data availability
and protection, information storage infrastructure is the
most critical component of an overall IT infrastructure.
It plays a critical role in making applications work
efciently, both locally and across multiple sites. With
the increasing complexity and criticality of storage,
highly skilled and focused storage groups are as
mission-critical as the technologybeing deployed.
This paper summarizes a global research study that
was conducted to learn how companies are meeting
these challenging requirements. These ndings will
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 efcient storage
management teams. Stronger storage management
teams will, in turn, lead to more robust storage
infrastructures.
The rst such study was carried out by EMC in
20052006 and was found to be very useful by IT
and storage managers globally. The updates and
revisions include:
Most current information via global survey of
over 1,200 managers (15 percent) and storage
professionals (85 percent)
Information on data centers and processing
centers instead of entire enterprise
Focus on usable storage capacities instead of
installed raw capacities
Further details related to storage groups such as
job titles, tasks and responsibilities, and hiring plans
Global trends are identied in areas related to:
Technical environments
Management challenges
Practices for building storage management groups
Options for acquiring more or better storage skills
The study was carried out between December 2006
and February 2007. We used comprehensive surveys
and reached out to thousands of storage professionals
to assemble and compile this information. The study
included:
All major geographies and major industry segments
EMC users as well as those using storage solutions
from other vendors
Large, medium, and small enterprises
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Figure 1 Geographic distribution of
participants represented
Figure 2 Annual revenue of companies
$100m-
$500m
14%
Not Known
28%
Up to $100m
17%
$500m - $1B
10%
Over $1B
31%
Europe &
Middle East
28%
Americas
58%
Asia-Pacific
Japan
14%
IT and Storage Managers
80% Managing storage growth
61% Designing, deploying, and managing backup
and recovery
58% Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
recovery solutions
48% Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
40% Designing and deploying multi-site environments
36% Designing and deploying emerging storage
technologies (such as storage virtualization,
IP SAN, GRID, etc.)
30% Lack of skilled storage professionals
27% Compliance regulations
Storage Professionals
73% Managing storage growth
62% Designing, deploying, and managing backup and
recovery
61% Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
recovery solutions
42% Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
42% Designing and deploying multi-site environments
36% Designing and deploying emerging storage
technologies (such as storage virtualization,
IP SAN, GRID, etc.)
31% Lack of skilled storage professionals
23% Compliance regulations
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Table 1 Most important activities/constraints identied
as challenges by managers and professionals
Table 2 What keeps them awake;
pain points in order of priority identied by
managers and individual contributors
2. Challenges Faced by IT and
Storage Managers
IT and storage managers and storage professionals
identied the following activities and constraints as
their key challenges. These challenges are common
to both large enterprises as well as SME (small and
medium enterprises) sectors of the industry.
Challenges Identied by IT and
Storage Managers and Professionals
Managing storage growth
Designing, deploying, and managing backup
and recovery
Designing, deploying, and managing disaster
recovery solutions
Making informed strategic/big-picture decisions
Designing and deploying multi-site environments
Designing and deploying emerging storage technologies
(such as storage virtualization, IP SAN, GRID, etc.)
Lack of skilled storage professionals
Managing data availability/data retention compliance
Each of these activities is ongoing at various levels in each
of the companies. Activities such as backup/recovery have
been in practice for decades; still the professionals believe
that they are not doing enough or not performing them
well. The following table summarizes the input from
managers and professionals. There is a strong synergy
between the managers and individual contributors as
they have identied exactly the same challenges in
similar priority order.
Explosive growth in storage requirements and the storage
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.
For example, colleges and universities have not, until
now, included storage technology in their courses.
On the other hand, vendor training typically focuses
on their products covering deployment and usage
rather than building skills and competency to architect, de-
sign, integrate, and manage entire infrastructure
and end-to-end information lifecycle.
We will learn the methodology by which most storage pro-
fessionals acquire knowledge and build skills to
carry out their assignments in section 4 of this paper.
3. Complex Storage Environments
This study sought to determine the similarities and
differences among storage infrastructures. The
responses reveal that data centers across the
Americas, Europe, and Asia have deployed very
similar storage solutions, including hardware and
software. The sizes vary based upon business
requirements, or in some cases, a particular vendor
may have a stronger presence in a given environment,
but on the whole, the deployed technology and
challenges are very similar.
Nearly 80 percent of the companies have multi-site
data processing environments.
Nearly 80 percent of the companies are at various
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.
3.1 Storage Technology Segments
Storage technology deployment and its importance to the
data center aligned with general market trends for each of
the storage technology segments.
Storage subsystems, by default, are the most important
segment as they provide the backbone infrastructure,
storage capacity, reliability, availability, performance,
and connectivity.
Two segments, storage areas networks (SANs) and
backup/recovery (BR), were rated important by more
than 75 percent of the storage professionals.
Remote replication was considered important by 5075
percent of storage professionals
NAS and local replication are considered important by
2550 percent of the professionals
CAS, IP-SAN, and emerging technologies are considered
important by 1025 percent of the professionals.
Each of the technology segments is unique, bringing its
own specic business or operational values. For example,
SAN and NAS provide connectivity options with unique
functionality, while BR and replication technologies provide
options for information protection against planned and
unplanned outages.
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Over 1PB
15%
100-500 TB
20%
Up to 100TB
55%
500TB-1PB
10%
Figure 3 Distribution of multi-site
data processing environments
(Number of data center/processing
facilities across represented companies)
Figure 4 Distribution of storage capacity
across represented companies
Over 1PB
15%
100-500 TB
20%
Up to 100TB
55%
500TB-1PB
10%
SAN Backup/
Recovery
Remote
Repl.
NAS Local
Repl.
CAS IP-SAN
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
%

R
e
s
p
o
n
d
e
n
t
s
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These technology segments (Figures 5 and 6) are at
various stages of evolution and maturity. Each is
considered sophisticated and complex, and each
requires unique skills to assess, plan, design, deploy,
and manage them effectively. Deploying specialized
experts within the teams, dedicated to their specialty
segments, is the most effective way to manage such
diverse technology.
4. Formalized Storage Groups
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
to building and maintaining high-performance, highly
available storage infrastructures.
Job titles and descriptions of dedicated storage
professionals are evolving. The following are the most
common job functions being deployed by the studied
organizations:
Storage Manager Manager of the formalized
storage team or used inter
changeably for Storage
Administrator
Storage Responsible for day-to-day
Administrator administration, provisioning,
conguration management,
monitoring, availability
management, etc.
Backup and Responsible for day-to-day
Recovery backup and recovery-related
Administrator operations
Storage Architect Responsible for capacity
planning, technology
planning/design, and process
management
Disaster Recovery Responsible for disaster recovery,
Administrator or backup and recovery, planning,
Business Continuity implementation and management
0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%
Storage Managers
Storage Administrators
Storage Architects
BC Adminstrators
BR Administrators
Others
Figure 5 Storage technology segments
and their relative importance
Figure 6 Most common Storage technology
segments implemented
Figure 7 Distribution of storage-related functions
across 660 respondents
SAN Backup/
Recovery
NAS Repli-
cation
DAS IP-SAN CAS
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
%

R
e
s
p
o
n
d
e
n
t
s
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Figure 2 Responsibilities of a typical storage group as identied by the storage professionals
4.1 Responsibilities
Storage groups are responsible for the overall planning,
design, implementation, monitoring, managing, testing,
and operating all components of the infrastructure.
Interactions with IT and storage managers and
professionals resulted in the list of activities/tasks for
which they are responsible (Table 3).
The list includes various job functions, including storage
administration, architects, DR admin., BR admin., etc.
Percent time captured for each of the activities highlights
the effort involved and possible importance of the tasks.
This list could be used as a tool to dene responsibilities
of the storage group and individuals.
Table 3 Typical tasks and responsibilities of storage teams
and percent of time spent over past 12 months
Storage GroupTasks & 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.)
2.7%

on storage technology
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%
Dening and implementing archival requirements 1.4%
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Figure 8 Percent of time spent by storage professionals
by storage technology segment (last 12 months)
Another equally important dimension of these responsi-
bilities is their alignment to different storage technology
segments. Skills and processes are required to manage
these tasks against expected expertise inone or more
assigned specialtyor storage technology segments.
Figure 8 illustrates the percent of time spent in the last
12 months by key technology segments implemented.
4.2 Storage Group Size
The storage group consists of multiple roles that include
storage architects, managers, and administrators. We
continue to nd a strong correlation between the number
of professionals engaged in storage-related activities and
installed storage capacity.
SAN Backup/
Recovery
Remote
Repli.
IP-SAN CAS
0%
20%
40%
Storage
Sub-
systems
NAS Local
Repli.
%

T
i
m
e

i
n
v
e
s
t
e
d

i
n

l
a
s
t

1
2

m
o
n
t
h
s
The ratio of installed capacity to the number of
professionals in the storage team is high at lower
capacities and it reduces as the capacity increases.
If we count 100 percent dedicated storage profes-
sionals (if two individuals are spending 50 percent
of their time on storage-related activities, they are
counted as one professional in this exercise), the
current ratio at 100 TB is 1:20 (one professional for
every 20 TB installed). In other words, ve fulltime,
dedicated professionals are managing a storage
pool of 100 TB and its associated applications.
The ratio reached 1:40 at 500 TB, where approx.
1213 professionals are managing 500 TB. In larger
storage infrastructures, the ratio continues to reduce.
Typically, 17 professionals are managing 1 PB of
storage (ratio nearly 1:60).
4.3 Storage Group Skills and Performance
Analysis of IT and storage managers assessment
of skill levels leads to the conclusion that about 35
percent of their teams are properly skilled to carry out
their responsibilities, whereas the remaining nearly
two-thirds of their teams require additional skills,
knowledge, and development.
This is a key challenge for storage managers because
it underscores the very real skills gap in their teams.
Sub-optimal skills yield sub-optimal storage deploy-
ment. On the other hand, a well-skilled team will
lead to higher productivity, better deployment and
management of technology, and optimization of
the number of professionals required.
Figure 9 Number of storage professionals
vs. storage capacity they manage
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
2 3 4 5 12 17 25
# Professionals dedicated to managing storage infrastructure
I
n
s
t
a
l
l
e
d

U
s
a
b
l
e

S
t
o
r
a
g
e

C
a
p
a
c
i
t
y

(
T
B
)
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Figure 10 Ability to execute tasks skill levels of storage professionals
to carry out their tasks and activities
Figure 10 below illustrates the overall rating of the storage
teams against the identied tasks and responsibilities
(Table 3). Strong, moderate, and weak bars indicate the
level of expertise within the overall storage team in the
represented companies.

Figure 11 Competence by storage technology segments
Design Storage Infrastructure
Backup/Recovery
Manage Implementations
Integration with Applications
Provisioning
Monitoring
Capacity Planning
Vendor Assessments
Replication
Reporting
DR
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Strong Moderate Weak
Maintain SLAs
Security
Archival
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 maps skill sets of the storage teams against the
important technology segments. Skill levels of the teams
in SAN, backup/recovery, and storage subsystems are
rated high, while skills in NAS, remote replication, local
replication, etc. are rated low. A correlation between ability
to execute tasks (as shown in Figure 10) and competence
in relevant technology segment (from Figure 11) will
paint a clear picture of the effective competence of the
storage group. Detailed assessment of each individual
within the group is required to ascertain strengths
and weaknesses for each task and related technology
segment.
4.4 Sources for Hiring and Development
The most signicant challenge faced by IT and storage
managers is the shortage of skilled storage professionals
in the marketplace. In fact, lack of skilled storage profes-
sionals is the most serious industry challenge.
Considering the aggressive hiring requirements and plans,
the lack of skilled resources becomes a serious bottleneck.
Figure 12 highlights the level of hiring requirements across
the industry. The hiring plans indicate a growth of two to
three times the number of existing staff are required to be
hired, trained, and deployed.
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Current To Hire
203%
153%
88%
103%
126%
415%
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
400
450 500
Storage Managers
Storage Administrators
Storage Architects
BC Adminstrators
BR Administrators
Others
Number of People
% Growth in
Staffing Requirements
Figure 12 Hiring requirements for next 12 months
Figure 13 Ability to execute tasks skill levels of storage professionals
to carry out their tasks and activities
Figure 13 shows the preferred hiring options. The majority
of managers prefer to hire experienced professionals to
reduce the learning period and reduce risks associated with
hiring new employees. The next best alternative is to
hire well-trained and certied individuals.
% of Managers
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Hire Experienced
Hire Certified
Internal Appointment
Engage Consultants
Hire College Graduate
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With the shortage of skilled manpower in the industry
capable, experienced, skilled individuals are usually
not available for hiring. Major factors for this skills
shortage include lack of storage technology education
in the marketplace and in academia. EMC has taken
the lead and successfully introduced storage technology
curriculum (and certication) in several universities
as well as in the open market via public classes. A lot
more needs to be done to convert this industry-wide
bottleneck into lucrative employment opportunities
for aspiring professionals.
Given that there are very limited numbers of certied
or well-skilled storage professionals in the market,
managers frequently resort to internal recruitment.
Often the internal recruitment involves moving an
existing valuable employee who has a different expertise
(such as operating systems, databases, etc.), but has
very limited knowledge about storage technology.
On-the-job-training, technology vendor training, and
self-development by reading manuals are preferred
sources of storage training and development, followed
by training for certications and training provided by
independent IT training companies.
On-the-job training, technology vendor training, and
self-development by reading manuals typically cover
usage and management of products and technology
that is either already implemented or is in the process
of being implemented. In addition, there is a need for
wider and deeper training focusing on underlying
technology concepts, planning, designing and managing.
This will enable the storage professionals to indepen-
dently and more-efciently design and deploy storage
infrastructures fully leveraging the capabilities
of all applicable storage technology segments.
% of Managers
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
On-the-job Training
Vendor Training
Certification Training
IT Training Companies
In-house Training
Self Development
Figure 14 Most-trusted training sources for development of storage skills
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- Application integrated
storage infrastructure
- Expert level knowledge to maximize
performance and availability
- 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
4.5 Storage Group Skills Model
Another important aspect to consider is breadth and
depth of knowledge and skills required to perform the
storage-related functions effectively. There is a need for
a well-dened skills model which can be applied to both
development and deployment of expertise in the group.
At the very least, three distinct requirements can be
identied (represented as Skills Pyramid in Figure 15).
Foundations: Required for all members of the team.
Strong understanding of underlying technical concepts
across all storage technology segments is a must to be
able to:
1. Fully understand products and technology in each
segment;
2. Design and manage end-to-end lifecycle of
information/data from creation to archiving; and
3. Make accurate technology decisions while designing
information infrastructure for critical processing
environments.
Specialization: Advancements in technology and the
rapid introduction of highly sophisticated solutions have
made it nearly impossible for everyone in the team to be
expert at everything.The number of individuals and their
specialties can be assigned based upon the assignment
requirements (such as storage administration and manage-
ment or planning and designing) and technology deployed
in the infrastructure (storage subsystems, SAN, NAS, CAS,
replication, backup/recovery, etc.).
Formal specialization assignments also will help address
the development needs for nearly two-thirds of the
existing workforce.
Expertise Development: Depending upon deployed
technology and application environments, a number of
experts may be required in the storage group. Two distinct
focus areas can be identied for expertise development:
Deeper knowledge of deployed products and technology
will help maximize performance and availability.
Ability to integrate technology with applications
(databases, e-mail systems, etc.) will help deploy well-
integrated solutions.
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5. Recommendations and Conclusions
From the perspective of data availability and protection,
information storage infrastructure is the most-critical
component of an overall IT infrastructure. It plays a
critical role in making applications work efciently, both
locally and across multiple sites. With the increasing
complexity and criticality of storage, highly skilled
and focused \storage groups are as mission-critical as
the technology being deployed.
This study underscores a widening knowledge and skill
gap in this mission-critical industry.
A very aggressive hiring requirement is possibly the
most important challenge faced by the managers today,
which becomes even more challenging considering the
shortage of experienced or certied professionals.
Nearly two-thirds of the storage professionals employed
today require additional knowledge and skills to perform
their responsibilities efciently. This is an important
revelation.
Due to the lack of comprehensive storage technology
education in the industry, most of the currently deployed
professionals have relied on on-the-job training, vendor
product training and self-development. Though probably
adequate for day-to-day administration, however, the
ability to make informed strategic decisions and to
proactively plan, design, and man-age storage infra-
structure is hampered by a lackof broad and deep
knowledge.
Well-constructed, comprehensive, and strategic plans
must be efciently implemented to meet the challenges
of managing multi-site, multi-vendor environments.
Companies without formal and focused storage
management groups must evaluate this mission-critical
requirement.
Companies with dedicated storage teams must
carefully analyze skills requirements and current skill
levels in their teams.
Companies must develop specialized experts in each of
the storage technology segments they have deployed.
Storage technology vendors should develop knowledge
and skills in the industry when they introduce new
technologies.
Leading universities, colleges, and training providers
must include storage technology courses in their
curricula to offer their graduates career opportunities
in this high growth industry. The next generation of IT
professionals, or anyone looking for a different career
path, has a great opportunity to learn the skills and
meet the demands in this high-growth, dynamic
environment.
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6. EMCs Response and Initiatives
EMC Education Services conducted this study to identify
and address challenges faced by managers in the storage
industry.
The following key initiatives offer options for storage
managers and professionals to acquire or improve their
skills to benet their organizations:
Education Solutions
Open Storage Technology Curriculum
Unique offering in the industry; leads with concepts
and principles
Covers all segments of information storage and
management technology
Adapted by several universities
Public classes by independent training providers
for non-EMC users
EMC Technology-Specifc Learning Paths
Help leverage extensive capabilities of EMC
technology and solutions
Comprehensive coverage for all segments of
EMC technology
Prepare for EMC Proven Professional Certication
EMC Proven Professional Certifcation Program
Formal validation and recognition
Option of Open and/or more than 10 EMC
technology specialties
Exclusive Knowledge Maintenance feature
All of the above education solutions are available globally
via EMC Education Services to EMC customers, partners,
and employees.
In an attempt to help address the widening knowledge
gap in the industry, the following exclusive programs have
been introduced which enable non-EMC users as well
as university students to take advantage of open storage
technology curriculum and to build a successful career in
this high-growth industry.
EMC Academic Alliance Program
Open Storage Technology Curriculum for students
in colleges and universities, targeted to help build a
highly skilled pool of future storage managers and
professionals.
Introduced in mid-2006, the program has helped
establish alliances with a large number of universities
in several countries.
EMC Learning Partner Program
Open Storage Technology Curriculum, offered by
leading, independent IT training companies, designed
to build or improve storage technology skills leading to
better design and management of efcient storage
infrastructures.
For more information on the programs, offerings, alliances,
and partnerships, visit www.EMC.com/training
About Learning Tree International
Learning Tree International is a leading worldwide
provider of vendor-independent training to managers
and IT professionals in business and government
organizations. Since 1974, over 1,700, 000 course
participants from over 13,000 organizations worldwide
have enhanced their skills and extended their knowledge
under the guidance of expert instructors with real-
world experience. Learning Tree develops, markets and
delivers a broad, proprietary library of instructor-led
courses focused on the latest information technologies,
management practices and key business skills.
Learning Tree International annually trains over
87,000 professionals in its Education Centers around
the world. Learning Tree also provides training in a
number of additional cities and on site at customer
locations in 26 countries. For more information
about Learning Tree products and services, call
1-800-THE-TREE (1-800-843-8733), or visit our
Web site at www.learningtree.ca
About the Author
Alok Shrivastava
Senior Director, Education Services
EMC Global Services
EMC Corporation
Shrivastava_alok@EMC.com
Alok Shrivastava is responsible for technology
education, certication, and programs within EMC
Education Services. Key areas of his responsibility
include technical training and eld readiness, EMC
Proven Professional Certication, internal commu-
nications and program management, new product
readiness, Storage Technologist OpenTraining and
Certication, EMC Learning Partner program, and
the EMC Academic Alliance program. Prior to
joining the EMC Education Services team in 2003,
Mr. Shrivastava was responsible for building and
leading a strong sales engineering team for the EMC
Asia-Pacic/Japan region. In his nearly 25-year
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.
About EMC Corporation
EMC Corporation is a world leader in systems, soft-
ware services, and solutions for building and managing
intelligent, exible, and secure information infra-
structures. EMC enables organizations to maximize
the value of their information assets by implementing
and accelerating information lifecycle management
(ILM) strategies.
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 Certication (EMCPA).
16 Managing Storage: Trends, Challenges, and Options
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