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The costs of using -- or NOT using -- storage optimization tools

By Linda Gail Christie

What happens when you don't control and regulate the quality and quantity of data stored on servers? Consider what happened to a major financial services organization.

"This firm contacted us because they couldn't understand why their backups were taking so long," said Steven Toole, director of marketing for WQuinn, a company providing storage management tools for Windows NT/2000 systems. "When we used StorageCeNTral to analyze their files, we found 20GB of MP3 files stored on their servers. And they were backing up these files every day!"

Toole says storage optimization solutions will help you recover up to 30 percent of your capacity by identifying duplicate files, outdated files, and file types you don't want stored on your servers: For example, music files (.MP3 and .WAV); photos, wallpapers, and pornographic images (.GIF, .JPG, .BMP); and even obsolete files belonging to people who are no longer on the payroll.

"Many people underestimate the cost of storage," Toole continued. "We calculate storage costs at $0.35/MB for hardware and $3.00/MB/year for the labor to manage storage resources. So if you use a storage optimization tool to reduce 80GB of storage by 30 percent, you can reduce your hardware cost by $10,500 and your labor costs $60,000 (25 percent) for a savings of $70,500. Subtract approximately $10,000 for ten StorageCeNTral licenses ($900 per server) and you'll realize a net saving of $60,000: a 6:1 ROI in the first year alone."

Storage management tips are written by Linda Gail Christie, a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.

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