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Quantitative and supporting evidence

Where can I find quantitative information for guidance on which types of storage solution should be used for various application implementations?

If we had to construct a matrix or graph showing different storage solution options (direct attached, modular/midrange, and enterprise SAN) taking into account TCO (with TB/FTE and initial costs) vs. the TCO contributing factors (the 5 Ss: SCALABILITY, STABILITY, SPEED, SHARING and SIMPLICITY), what would be the best way to do it? Where can we get quantitative supporting evidence for the various storage options available?


For large scale SAN implementations, this work is usually is usually done by the end-users themselves. An RFP is created that indicates the matrix you are requesting. The response from each vendor is then compared for completeness of each section of the solution. Pilot tests are then run in a simulated production environment to verify the results of the RFP.

There are some papers around from IDC, Gartner, and the Evaluator Group. These are generally fee based though, although there are some free papers available on their Web sites. Evaluator does a matrix with side-by-side comparisons of every vendor's products according to vendor specs. These may be worthwhile for you. Another approach is to contact your peers at other organizations using similar applications, to see if they will make their test results available to you.

Read the Analysts reports from Wit, Gartner, AG Edwards, Aberdeen, Merrill, et al to get what their view of the vendors is.

If you are going to create your own matrix, besides the 5 Ss as you have proposed, you should consider these factors as they pertain to each vendors ROI for their solutions:

  • Increased disk utilization
  • Deferring disk procurement
  • Reduce data center rack/floor space
  • Tape procurement deferral
  • New DR capabilities
  • Improved DR capabilities
  • On-line recoverability options
  • Staff utilization for server management
  • TB-per-DBA ratio decline
  • Management costs as a percentage of storage costs
  • Improved overall availability
  • Increased life of current disk
  • Reduction of UNIX and NT servers
  • Improve LAN/WAN performance, avoid upgrades
  • Increase I/O performance, bulk data movement
  • Reduced storage maintenance
  • Reduce backup servers
  • Reduce/eliminate batch, backup windows
  • Improve/protect critical data
  • Non-disruptive scalability
  • Avoid data area network growth
  • Impact to new/migrating applications
  • Impact to applications development, testing
  • Extending life of servers
  • Reduce CPU load on servers
  • Support server clustering
  • Secondary security services
  • Vendor consolidation
  • Storage on-demand

Keep in mind that the flexibility, control-ability, architecture and manageability are key factors enabling ROI for you overall purchase. Consider leasing options with technology refresh built in also.

There was an independent white paper done recently by the CIO council in Washington DC, that covers how a number of SAN customers are realizing return on investment. You may need to be a member, but try here: http://www.cio.gov/

You can also try the Aberdeen paper dated March --> --> --> 1 called: "Enterprise Storage 2001 - From back-office afterthought to strategic buying decision." http://www.aberdeen.com.

The searchStorage Web site also has great updates daily and you can use the .WvVgaHTXaLB^0@.ee83ce4!viewtype=&skip=&expand=>Storage Networking forum for asking your peers about solutions they have implemented!!

Thanks for using searchStorage.com.


Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in our Storage Networking discussion forum at http://searchstorage.discussions.techtarget.com/WebX?replyToMessage@200.MullaECzaUO^1@.ee83ce4!viewtype=convdate or e-mail us directly at editor@searchstorage.com.

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