If I charge for the storage used why should I care about wasted storage anyway?
If you are an external storage provider, you certainly shouldn't care, as long as no competitor forces you to do so. This is because the more storage you provide, the higher the bill you can invoice. This is a caveat that should be taken into account by a company looking for outsourced storage services.
If you are an internal storage provider, the situation is completely different. It would be nice to see your wooden dollars increase by the growth of wasted storage. However, even if you don't carry the burden of a budgeted department anymore, the company as a whole has won nothing in efficiency and the cost is as high as before. It is just accounted better to the users. To really make a difference the company has to decrease the cost by either getting cheaper resources, or by utilizing them better. The latter is where your responsibility comes into play again. Provide your customers with the information they need to use their resources better to reduce the overall cost for your business. Reports on wasted storage, not accessed files, empty raw devices, growth and duplicates, help to understand how the storage environment is utilized and to find solutions to increase it utilization. This is a very important application for SRM software.
This was first published in September 2003