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Determining your storage needs for the future

What's the best way to determine what my future storage needs will be?

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This is an inclusive process for the entire company that involves understanding the environment today and in the future. You should look at the storage utilization by each project based on its storage requirements today and tomorrow.

Today's Storage Utilization:
1. Using basic scripting and small databases or spreadsheets or even SRM software to trend storage utilization.
    a. Look for areas where you can reclaim unused space
    b. Put quotas in place

Tomorrow's Utilization:
1. Plan new projects with an eye toward the conservative
2. Charge internal organizations based on actual usage patterns
3. Create different tiers of storage based on the end-users' requirements for the storage, including:
    a. Platinum: Requires 24x7 availability, synchronous replication in case of disaster recovery. Usually reserved only for the critical applications in a company that must survive in order for the business to survive.
    b. Gold: Requires 24x7 availability, but does not require synchronous replication. E-mail applications are an example.
    c. Silver: Requires less than 24x7 availability, usually reserved for the lowest tier of applications within the company, such as local storage for departmental applications.
4. Look at the requirements for the data. Many new governmental requirements have been put in place that may require new retention policies to be compliant. These requirements may increase the storage needs of the company.

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This was first published in October 2003

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