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How to count the cost of storage

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How to count the cost of storage

If you want to take some serious steps toward saving money on storage, you need to figure out how much things truly cost.

A KEY FOCUS for storage professionals (and information technology in general) is saving money. Although we work in a field with rapidly declining unit prices, real cost savings have been difficult to prove. Even as vendors tout the cost effectiveness of new storage systems, and high utilization and tiered storage become a reality, storage-related costs seem to keep climbing. Perhaps the problem is that we're focusing on the wrong areas and measuring the wrong things.

Supply and demand
Let's get this out of the way first: The cost of each gigabyte of storage is declining rapidly in every segment of the market. Enterprise storage today costs what desktop storage did less than a decade ago. So why are overall costs increasing?

Part of the blame lies in our voracious appetite for storage. We may cite rich media for creating ever-larger files, but that's not the culprit. Even the constant flood of e-mail isn't the prime suspect. In fact, most storage growth is the result of low utilization and multiple copies of data--our inability to make good use of the disk already deployed. In effect, we're drowning in empty disks!

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This was first published in August 2006

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