Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 6

Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Continuing the blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA), this post focuses on some facts about what causes and what are inconsistencies in storage environments.

Read the entire series of posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA):

Part 1: Storage Resource Analysis and Storage Economics

Part 2: The IT — Storage World of 2009

Part 3: The IT — Storage Budgets of 2009

Part 4: Some Fundamental Questions

Part 5: Facts about your Data

Part 6: Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Part 7: The Technical Case

Part 8: The Business Case

Part 9: The End Result

To talk about a few inconsistencies that exist in the volatile storage environments, here is a subset of them, later in the post we will talk about what causes these inconsistencies.

  • Host masking to non existing LUNs
  • Host masking to invalid LUNs
  • Multipathing inconsistency with Hostmodes
  • Split BCV’s with no increments
  • BCV is smaller than Source devices
  • Source is smaller than BCV devices
  • Administratively fractured Clone copy, data integrity issues
  • Unallocated BCV to LUN
  • Host masked to LUN and LUN non mapped to path
  • LUN mapped to path and not masked to host
  • Single path host
  • Replication split
  • Replication failover
  • Replication Sync
  • R1 and R2 LUN to with improper host attachments
  • BCV never established
  • BCV Split
  • BCV Sync
  • BCV Mirroring
  • Empty disk drive slots
  • Disk drives installed but not used or configured
  • Physical Disk space (unused disk drive space)
  • LUN unallocated
  • Ungrouped disk

The above storage inconsistencies are pretty common with large environments and with multisite replication enabled. Also without a proper storage management tool, these errors are very likely to exist in any storage environment.

What causes these above set of issues; let’s talk about a few primary related reasons

  • Human error
  • Incorrect planning and implementation
  • Lack of Storage Strategy
  • Lack of Reclamation Strategy
  • Lack of Training
  • Storage Consolidation projects
  • Host migration projects
  • Host retirement or scrapped projects
  • Lack of Storage management
  • Operational Oversight
  • Undocumented planning and procedures


Just spoke to a potential customer last week. During a conference call we asked them, what are some of the major issues they are seeing in their storage environment? They have two Storage tools they use for operational and management purposes to handle a large double digit PB storage environment.

The answer from one of the architects was, we know of a lot of issues in our environment, but we have priorities around other things happening in the environment and cannot focus on these operational day to day non trivial issues.

With a large environment like the above to manage, a storage reclamation exercise can help a customer reclaim storage in terms of PB’s and could convert into immediate ROI, ROA and reduction in CapEx / OpEx that would help the organization save millions of dollars in new storage acquisitions. The question remains, are those our priorities today?

Do you have any of the above issues in your storage environment, or are you aware of them yet?

About the author

Devang Panchigar

With more than 7 Years of IT experience, Devang is currently the Director of Technology Solutions and IT Operations at Computer Data Source, Inc. Devang has held several positions in the past including Sr. Systems Engineer, Sr. Network Engineer, Technical Support Manager, Director of Storage Support & Operations. He has been responsible for creating and managing worldwide technical support teams, technology solutions team, operations management, service delivery, pre and post sales support, marketing and business planning. In his current role Devang oversees multiple aspects of the Technology Solutions Group that works with various Multinational and Fortune 500 companies providing them infrastructure services. Along with various industry certifications, Devang holds a Bachelor of Science from South Gujarat University, India and a Master of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

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