How to Shrink the Data Protection Investment

The data protection infrastructure seems to be on a never ending growth curve. The organization is constantly buying more storage and software licenses to support the process. The reality is though that there are opportunities to downsize the organization’s data protection investment but most organizations can’t take advantage of them.

The reason most organizations don’t downsize their data protection investment is very few of them have the ability to reduce it if the opportunity to reduce it arises. The Consumption-based IT model that Storage Switzerland covered in its recent webinar “Consumption Based Data Management” offers, for the first time, the ability to reduce data protection costs as soon as the opportunity arises.

How Can Data Protection Costs Go Down?

The demands on data protection infrastructure can go down for a number of reasons. First, an application, as it goes through its lifecycle, typically becomes less critical than it was at first. Assuming the organization is properly using service level agreements and as that application becomes less critical, then the number of backups performed on it can decrease, which reduces backup capacity costs. The reduction in criticality also means the type of storage the application’s backup data is stored on can change to less expensive media.

Second, the application may be shuttered altogether. Its data more than likely still needs retention but it doesn’t need daily protection anymore. Not only can the retained copy also be stored on less expensive media but the licenses for the application can be eliminated.

Third, the application’s data may move to a new, more advanced storage system. That storage system may include better built-in data protection capabilities that the original storage system, which may mean that backups don’t need to occur so frequently. An improved storage system may also mean that the backup process isn’t the go to point of recovery anymore. Additionally, lessening the likelihood of requiring recoveries from a backup means that the backup copy can be stored on less expensive media.

Why Data Protection Costs Don’t Go Down

The primary reason that data protection costs don’t go down is the customer is locked into the data protection infrastructure. Vendors won’t typically allow customers to return existing storage and software licenses can typically only be reduced once or twice per year. Since the ability to return hardware and reduce software licenses don’t typically exist the customer never even considers them.

Making Data Protection Costs Go Down with Consumption Based IT

Making data protection costs go down primarily requires a new business agreement between the customer and the vendor. Some may see the cloud as a viable option but the problem is that most of the organization’s applications and data are still on-premises. A cloud hosted solution also has to deal with transfer latencies and data egress fees during a recovery.

An alternative is to use a consumption based IT business model like HPE’s GreenLake program. This program enables customers to have on-premises hardware and software but only pay for the hardware and software that is actually in use. HPE and Veeam have partnered together to extend the consumption based model to the data protection infrastructure. The consumption based model means that the data protection hardware and data protection software are continuously monitored for use. The customer is not charged for the components of the infrastructure, like licenses or excessive disk capacity not currently in use.

Register now for “Consumption Based Data Management” and receive our latest eBook “Removing Economic Unpredictability from Data Protection” exclusive to on demand attendees!

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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