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Storage and Availability Management

Storage Management: A State of Neglect (Part 1 of 4)

Created: 06 Apr 2009 • Updated: 05 Mar 2010
phil samg's picture
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During periods of economic growth, organizations may be tempted to take the “quick fix” to storage management problems. The incremental cost of adding storage is relatively small and can be absorbed by the budget. Such a short-cut may facilitate faster project roll-out, but it also leads to underutilized storage. Many organizations operate at only 30 to 40 percent utilization. According to InfoPro, the average is 35 percent.

Accurate storage allocation is difficult because data growth rate information is incomplete or unavailable. Consequently, storage allocation does not correlate to consumption. New applications, with no historical trend data, receive storage allocation on a “best estimate” basis. If the allocated capacity is too high, then the excess capacity may languish unused for the life of the array.

Needless spending is the primary consequence of benign neglect. Having an array only 50 percent utilized is like paying twice as much for the storage needed. Idle capacity also consumes power, increases cooling costs, and unnecessarily consumes floor space and maintenance dollars with no return on the investment. Moreover, storage array software licenses are typically based on total (or raw) capacity, not utilized capacity, thereby needlessly driving up the cost of software.

To be continued..
Read Part 2: Turning Things Around