“Bending the growth curve” is no longer the last resort option in storage. It is being bent more frequently than thought as storage budgets rapidly consume available IT budgets. In fact, it is the first step in effective storage management as advocated by cloud vendors. CIOs argue that even a 5% bend in the curve can result in savings of millions of dollars per year and a cloud storage system that provides for such bends is desirable.

Storage reclamation is one method of improving storage efficiency. Reclamation is not merely about archiving or deleting of old data. The focus is on identifying and reorganizing data that has been incorrectly provisioned or rarely used. The entire process can be done without causing downtime or impacting user access to data by following simple and tested reclamation procedures:

1. Identification of improperly provisioned storage
2. Manual inspection of Logical Units (LUN) to determine how it is assigned to each server
3. Implementing host side and array side data tracking

Improper provisioning occurs by increased demand due to increased demand on IT resources and speed at which the resources are forced to operate. The applications are given very little time to check the allocation and ensure that allocated resources are actually being used. These errors are easy to fix and large volumes of improperly provisioned resources can be recovered and reallocated.

One method of recovery that is often advocated is a manual effort at correlating all the LUNs in the storage infrastructure to their assigned server until you have an orphaned LUNs list that can be subjected to reclamation. The list will also isolate and identify LUNs that have not been allocated to any server or have not been discovered by the server it is assigned to. These LUNs can be deleted without downtime and the capacity consumed can be instantly released for other uses.
Implementation of best practices in LUN allocation and server assignment will go a long way towards ensuring automated storage reclamation and capacity planning. Organizations with hundreds and thousands of LUNs require software tools that help in LUN creation, manipulation and reporting. Many cloud backup software developers like Asigra use LUN management software as an integral part of their storage management process. The features may include mapping specific array ports and masking specific host bus adapters. Comprehensive reporting on LUN may also be an important offering.

Securstore is proud to partner with Asigra.