Storage Basics: Reining In Storage CostsOne of the toughest challenges facing IT managers of enterprise networks and data centers is finding cost-effective and reliable methods to handle the explosion of information created by e-commerce and other initiatives. Storage area networks (SANs) provide a flexible, networked storage solution, but at a high cost.
There are many fast-growing, but undercapitalized, companies in need of storage solutions. Instead of shouldering the expense of buying, configuring and installing new storage systems in climate-controlled rooms with redundant components, these businesses need to find a viable and affordable alternative.
Wavefire Technologies is one company in need of a solution. Due to projected growth and shifting data storage needs, Wavefire is considering a SAN solution, but because of fiscal restraints, the company is forced to explore its storage options carefully. In this and the next Storage Basics article, we will explore two alternatives companies such as Wavefire can consider when looking for a storage solution: refurbished SAN equipment and utility storage. We'll focus first on secondhand storage equipment, and look at utility storage in the next article.
As with anything else IT-related, there is an active market for used storage equipment, and finding vendors that sell used SAN components is not a difficult task. While many companies have embraced this market, others remain cautious. Purchasing anything used carries with it a host of concerns, and SAN equipment is certainly no exception.
Darcy Buskermolen, CTO of Wavefire, finds that purchasing secondhand or refurbished SAN equipment is a difficult decision to make.
"As the data storage needs grow for our company, we are looking toward a SAN solution," Buskermolen says. "As with most companies our data is critical. Can we trust our data on used storage equipment? Let's be honest, it's like buying a car — if I had the money, I'd buy new every time. There's just less chance of breaking down."
Reliability is not the only consideration for Wavefire.
"One of the reasons we are considering a SAN solution is to take advantage of the high-speed capacities of a SAN," Buskermolen says. "One of the concerns we have is investing dollars into antiquated equipment. We all know the lifespan of technology is short. While lease-returned hardware may be in working order, it is still older technology. By buying used, we may not be taking advantage of the latest SAN technology."