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DESPITE VENDOR CLAIMS to the contrary, 31% of Storage readers engage in some sort of chargeback for storage--a significant number. And
Capacity usage is by far the most important metric readers use to bill for storage, with 91% citing its use. Forty-eight percent use "tier of storage," making it a distant second. Service-level agreements and backup schedules are used more sporadically, by 38% and 30% of respondents, respectively.
Overall, chargeback has a positive or neutral effect on storage consumption. Fifty-six percent of respondents report no change in consumption, and 35% say that chargeback encourages users to consume less. However, 9% report that their internal users actually consume more storage under their chargeback policies.
Long-time chargeback practitioners sing its praises. According to one respondent who's been charging for shared storage for six years, chargeback "helps drive the proper use and consumption of the storage, encourages sharing of the storage infrastructure and enables proper lifecycle management of the technology."
But readers also see a lot of obstacles to chargeback. It means more work for administrators and there's a lack of effective tools to measure consumption. Other important obstacles are cultural issues and accounting. "We feel expenses should be accounted for company-wide, and no one should be wasting time or any type of resources on chargebacks to internal departments," writes one reader. "We're one big community/company; chargeback seems like laying blame," writes another.
This was first published in July 2006