Enterprise Storage Management Suites attempt to be all things to all customers. Some ESM Suites, such as Veritas SANPoint Control, are monolithic products. You either purchase the suite or you don't. Other suites, such as HP Storage Area Manager (SAM) can be purchased one component at a time.
Basic Device Management tools ship with most enterprise class storage hardware. More capable tools are available which provide greater capabilities and manage hardware from multiple vendors.
Storage Accounting tools automate storage usage metering for budgeting, analysis and charge-back purposes. A good storage accounting tool should calculate charges based upon capacity, utilization, and service levels. It should also enable you to configure tier-pricing and to develop customized service offerings.
Storage Capacity Planning tools assist administrators in planning ahead for migration of data or acquisition of new storage hardware.
Storage Network Management tools assist administrators in the management of storage area networks. SNM tools discover and monitor storage area networks, detect errors, and provide graphical maps of storage networks.
Storage Network Performance Management tools assist SAN administrators in debugging storage area network performance problems, maintaining storage area network performance, and reporting on storage area network performance.
Storage Provisioning tools enable you to add, remove and assign storage. Storage Provisioning tools manage Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs). A good storage provisioning tool should enable you to provision RAID, JBOD, and tape devices.
Data Backup tools are the original ESM tools. Data backup tools enable backup and recovery of data.
Information Lifecycle Management tools enable automatic policy based migration of data from disk to tape to lower overall data storage costs.
Tape Library Management tools automate tape media management, including duplication and offsite management.
Tape Library Management tools also enable multiple users and systems to share tape devices.
SAN Design tools assist SAN administrators in designing new SANs and upgrading existing SANs.
Storage Virtualization tools unify storage management across your enterprise by creating a virtualized data pool that expands primary or secondary storage onto any number of additional media/devices while simplifying management of those resources.
Shared File Systems enable storage on one server to be utilized by multiple servers. Shared file systems typically utilize NFS (Unix) or CIFS (Windows). Shared file systems are often utilized for clustering applications.
For more information on Shared file systems, read Shared file systems: a mixed blessing by Benjamin Kuo.
Data Replications tools enable mirroring of data across storage area networks. Data replication tools provide features such as volume snapshot, file snapshot, point-in-time snapshot, and sync or async replication.
Application Management software is focused around managing the storage of a specific application or set of applications, such as Microsoft Exchange or Oracle.