Storage provisioning is one of the most strategic aspects of an infrastructure administrator’s of your day-to-day tasks. Setting tiers of storage is a delicate balance of cost, benefit, and access. I recently came across a resource published by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) that I think every administrator can use as a template in their organization.

A SNIA presentation about Tiered Services and Classification (PDF) provides a good framework for administrators to create their own storage service catalog. The relevant slide from the 2007 presentation is shown in Figure A.
Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.

This tool can be a great way to give specific quantification for your delivered storage services. While Tier 1 storage to one organization may not be the same to another, the metrics in the Excel document that I prepare can allow you to quantify how the various tiers will perform based on this SNIA resource. Further, you can even add a Tier 0 category if you wish. Download the sample storage service catalog.

The beauty of this tool is that it doesn’t call out specific storage products; this is due to SNIA’s vendor-agnostic approach when creating the original material. The four categories — Primary Storage, Archiving Storage, Operational Recovery, and Disaster Recovery — should address all types of storage in an organization. This includes the traditional SAN, as well as the data protection components such as tape.

Please download the tool and customize to your organization’s requirements. I think this is a great way to quantify the various performance levels for the storage infrastructure.
Note: I received permission to reproduce the material in the presentation.

TechRepublic’s Servers and Storage newsletter, delivered on Monday and Wednesday, offers tips that will help you manage and optimize your data center. Automatically sign up today!