Storage infrastructure in IT refers to the overall set of hardware and software components needed to facilitate storage for a system. This is often applied to cloud computing, where cloud storage infrastructure is composed of hardware elements like servers, as well as software elements like operating systems and proprietary delivery applications.
They are majorly hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or public cloud storage service. Both public and private cloud storage infrastructures are known for their elasticity, scalability and flexibility.
The three major areas of management are capacity, performance, and availability. These three areas can be easily summarized as good storage management, which is about making sure that the storage is always available, always has enough space, and is fast in terms of performance. Good storage management requires solid processes, policies, and tools.
Traditional storage infrastructure management is component specific. The management tools only enable monitoring and management of specific components. This may cause management complexity and system interoperability issues in a large environment that includes many multi-vendor components residing in world-wide locations.
In the cloud environment, more value is given to the software-defined infrastructure management over the traditional physical component-specific management. Management functions are increasingly becoming decoupled from the physical infrastructure and moving to external software controller. As a result of this shift, the infrastructure components are managed through the software controller. The controller usually has a native management tool for configuring components and creating services. Administrators may also use independent management tools for managing the storage infrastructure. Management tools interact with the controller commonly through the application programming interfaces (APIs).
The key storage infrastructure components are Servers, storage systems, and storage area networks (SANs). These components could be physical or virtual and are used to provide services to the users. The storage infrastructure management includes all the storage infrastructure-related functions that are necessary for the management of the infrastructure components and services, and for the maintenance of data throughout its lifecycle. These functions help IT organizations to align their storage operations and services to their strategic business goal and service level requirements. They ensure that the storage infrastructure is operated optimally by using as few resources as needed. They also ensure better utilization of existing components, thereby limiting the need for excessive ongoing investment on infrastructure.