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Special Supplement: 10 ways to trim storage costs

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Storage August 2006 Special Supplement

Finding the most efficient ways to buy and use storage gear can save you big bucks.


Do you run out of disk capacity more often than planned? Is your storage budget maxed out months before the end of the year? The following 10 tips will help you stretch your storage budget, save money and get more out of your current technologies.

1) Archive or delete old files.
Archiving or deleting unnecessary data has the potential to give you the biggest savings at the lowest cost. Archiving or deleting data not only saves the costs associated with the original copy, it yields ongoing savings in terms of processor, I/O and secondary storage for your backups.

There are some files you can safely remove such as logs, message files, dump files or temporary files. If possible, automate these file deletions by scheduling Cleanmgr (Windows) or Skulker (various forms of Unix). You should also check with management to identify legal retention periods for archiving application data. For large databases, work with management or your DBA to identify records or rows that must be retained.

Once you've identified the data to be archived and its retention period, don't use a backup product to do the archiving unless it has built-in, discrete archiving features. Simply changing the retention period on your normal backups will leave records and data in your backup file

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set and backup product database (index or catalog) for an unusually long time. Large backup databases are the Achilles' heel of most backup products and constitute some of the largest files at the majority of companies. Before making technology purchases to handle archiving, understand your company's requirements. Unchangeable data storage may be one of the archive's requirements, and there's a wide range of choices for storing permanent data, from CD-ROMs that cost pennies apiece to content-addressable storage (CAS) systems that cost substantially more.

This was first published in August 2006

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