The evolution of tech is all about replacing manual tasks with automation, which enables you to perform tasks that were impossible or impractical before. You're suddenly freed from mind-numbing manual configuration -- only to face a fresh load of complexity, as you confront shiny new buttons to push.
That's what has happened to storage. Today we have a vast array of options for host-to-storage connectivity -- each with their own pro/con list and constantly changing best practices -- and an equally wide number of on-array performance and capacity optimization software features. While deploying new storage may take a fraction of the time, knowing how best to deploy it in the first place often requires a lot more thought.
To get the most out of modern enterprise storage, at a minimum you need to stay on top of four areas: monitoring, benchmarking, application characteristics, and a shortlist of general best practices. Some of them are as old as storage itself, while others come courtesy of the increasing complexity to be found in modern enterprise storage tech.
The No. 1 item any storage admin absolutely needs to know is how to monitor storage. Monitoring both capacity and performance will allow you to foresee impending problems before they rise to the level that anyone will notice -- and give you a chance to make necessary configuration changes or put more hardware on order before it's too late. Likewise, monitoring also gives you the data to determine whether or not storage is the cause of an application performance problem.