storage capacity planning

Storage capacity planning is the practice of assessing and forecasting future storage requirements so that just enough disk space can be purchased to meet the needs of users and applications.

Effective capacity planning allows data storage administrators to delay disk purchases, which is important because the price of disk continues to drop. Saving money on storage resources that would otherwise go unused enables organizations to better allocate their storage budgets.

Storage administrators can determine how storage is being allocated using storage capacity planning tools that analyze storage systems and then generate a report on available data storage capacity and storage performance. Implementing a chargeback model is another way to track storage use by groups or departments. 

Factors to consider include potential data storage requirements of future projects and tier(s) of storage. Tiered storage allows less frequently accessed items to be moved to a lower (and less costly) tier, freeing faster (and more expensive) tiers for those applications that need it.

Techniques like data deduplication and file compression can help reduce the amount of storage capacity needed by eliminating extra copies of the same file and reducing the amount of space needed to store files and images. Storage virtualization allows physical storage to be pooled and managed from one storage device, while thin provisioning lets storage administrators virtually dedicate storage but allocate it only when needed.

This was last updated in November 2011

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