Discussing all things virtualization and storage in the data center.

How much is enough?

I looked at a link on the RM site about United Air Lines and it got me wondering about how much effort it takes to manage Storage.  

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June 22, 2007 (Network World) -- When you tell him that on average, storage admins manage between 30TB and 60TB each, Samuel Turner smiles. As United Air Lines Inc.'s manager of storage utility services, he has good reason: His staffers each manage triple that.
"They manage nearly 200TB per person," Turner says, noting that although his staff is pushed, such amounts are doable, at least for the time being. 

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Over the last few years, I have looked after well over the 200 TB level and I can say I am not over worked in the least.  Occasionally I can spend a few months planning and implementing something large but it was normally not just the storage.  It is normally a mixture of designing new systems that just happen to use switches and storage. 

So what do I do?  Be mean.  I am probably the meanest person where I work.  Someone wants another TB for this.  Show me the money.  But.. no buts, just show me the money.  Can I borrow a TB and give it back later.  No.  Give me the money upfront and you have a deal.  

Other then being mean, I watch what the systems and the storage do.  I probably spend about half an hour looking at Tuning Manager while having a coffee.  If I see something bad, I think about fixing it.   I like to see an even system so I may move data around depending on what happens.

I have some work coming up this year when I get rid of our 9980V's and 9960's as they are old.  I expect to get a couple of USPV's to move the data onto.  Moving mainframe storage is easy.  Moving Solaris storage is easy.  Moving Windows... not so easy especially as we don't use Veritas yet.

So,  how many storage admins do it full time if they only manage 30 or 60 TB.  I wonder if they are using lots of smaller arrays and perhaps SAN islands, you know that whole project thing where I pay for it so no one else can use it.

Prior to SAN switches, double disk failures in smaller storage arrays (such as Sun T3's) were the causes of nightmares for me.  I could spend days mucking about trying to get fibre connections to hosts and move the data before we could change the failed disks.  Since I got large systems, I don't have to worry any more.  If my USP breaks, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I have say approximately 400 TB and I look after it myself with plenty of time to think of other things (don't tell my boss), am I doing a proper job of SAN management?

I should say I don't touch backup at all.  That's a mugs game and someone else can do it.  I provide features like True Copy, Shadow Image and Copy on Write.  That's good enough for me. 

Also, change management is some sort of help to me.  Nothing is ever any emergency any more and I wont do anything without a weeks notice.  It takes sooooooooooo darn long to create storage on the USP it is not funny.  10 x 100 GB LDEV's can easily take two days to create.  If I don't have any free LDEV's, I can't give them away.  If I have reclaimed LDEV's sitting around and they are willing to use LUSE LUN's, then they can have it immediately.

I don't work hard, I just like to plan..... oh and be mean.

Stephen 

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