The Hidden Costs of Unmanaged Storage Page 2


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The current rule of thumb, according to Gartner, is that enterprises that exceed 12TB of usable storage through 2004 will find greater storage TCO per gigabyte from the implementation of SAN technologies. Greene believes that the combination of rapidly declining SAN storage costs and advances in SAN storage management have dramatically reduced the break-even point between DAS and SAN. He also says that early SANs generally lacked centralized control, so the SAN provided common access but not common management and storage services.

"As SAN management, virtualization, and SRM tools have matured, it has become possible to set and control SAN provisioning and data protection policies from a single console – with corresponding reductions in SAN TCO," says Greene. In addition, he contends that SAN infrastructure costs are declining at unprecedented rates and are being driven by the increased volumes common to mainstream adoption and the implementation of new, standards-based technologies such as iSCSI. "For the foreseeable future, SAN TCO will continue to decrease faster than DAS TCO – enabling penetration of SAN technology into mid-range organizations."

Steinhardt believes that as hardware costs continue to fall and the costs associated with staff resources continue to rise, the optimal IT infrastructure will be one that provides administrators with software tools that allow them to more effectively monitor, manage, and provision networked storage hardware resources. "The best tools allow for policy-based (aka automated) management, as it is more productive to allow storage administrators to apply policies than to have to manually address all issues, no matter how productive the software tools are for manual management," says Steinhardt.

A poorly managed operating platform (hardware/software) usually results in an unstable computing environment. The concept of unmanaged storage is central to any discussion regarding enterprise storage because properly managing storage is a critical ingredient to the stability and cost effectiveness of an organization.

The Hidden Costs of Unmanaged Storage is a two-part article. The second part discusses other issues associated with the ongoing debate concerning the hidden costs of unmanaged storage. Jon Greene from FalconStor and Ken Steinhardt from EMC will answer a number of additional questions, including:

How can enterprises avoid the hidden costs of unmanaged storage?

As storage quantity increases, the total cost per gigabyte for all three storage types decreases, but does DAS/SDAS decrease at a faster rate than SAN storage?

If a data center is doubling its storage every 18 to 24 months and has more than 5 terabytes (TB) of usable storage (6 TB to 10 TB installed), should it evaluate the cost benefits that a storage area network (SAN) approach could provide in managing the TCO?

Do enterprises (in general) understand the composition and drivers of storage costs?

» See All Articles by Columnist Leslie Wood

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