What is a benchmark cost to manage storage, in a $/GB format?
Managed storage costs vary widely. The cost can range from $20/GB up. The factors that dictate price are driven be the type of service, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the service and how the service is delivered.
Managed services can be offered as simple monitoring, storage provisioning, backup/restore or advanced functions such as remote mirroring, vaulting, and advanced reporting options. For each of these services there is an additional cost involved.
The SLA for the service is a key component. If a service provider needs to meet a short backup window or uptime requirements are 99.999, then additional resources are required, thus cost of service will increase.
How the service is delivered is also important. If people are used to manage the storage (the most expensive way), then your costs are much higher. Another downside of using people is the inconsistency of storage service offered. Highly automated managed services typically offer a lower cost with the consistency of common methodologies.
This was first published in June 2001