How Can I Cut Storage Costs?

Cutting storage costs is not a straightforward equation. There are many variable factors that impact the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a storage infrastructure. In this blog, we will provide a few things that IT professionals can do to get there.

First and foremost, it is crucially important to identify and solve your storage problems efficiently. It may be tempting to throw a new storage array at the problem, and while that may introduce the potential for faster performance or additional, denser capacity, it will not set you up for more sustainable cost efficiencies.

There are a few common problems facing storage managers today. The first is sprawl of inactive data, and inefficient data placement. Storing redundant copies, data that is actually not needed, and older, infrequently accessed data that does not require fast performance, on a more expensive tier of storage is costly and inefficient. It is necessary to obtain full visibility into what data is being stored, how long it is being stored for, and how that data is being used, to meet growing data retention and application performance requirements while keeping the budget in check.

Along these lines, the second common problem impacting storage professionals is storage management complexity. Business initiatives like analytics, test and development, as well as data privacy regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require a more sophisticated approach to data management. This is especially true from the standpoint of retention policies and getting a handle on old or redundant files that might not need to be retained.

Another factor increasing the complexity of storage management is the fact that application performance bottlenecks (which end up costing the organization money) can exist anywhere across the infrastructure stack. In fact, the bottlenecks might not even exist within the storage environment. IT planners require visibility across the application stack, and they require the ability to correlate performance insights across applications and workloads, to both understand and address these hotspots. Meanwhile, better visibility can also help the IT professional to be more productive and focused, spending their time addressing issues that will return the greatest benefit in terms of application performance.

Also tying in is the need for better planning of capacity and performance requirements. If an application suddenly “appears” or has a change in requirements, it can quickly become a bottleneck. In order to shift from being reactive, IT requires deeper visibility than point-in-time diagnostics.

Long-term cost reduction requires increased visibility and better planning, which at the end of the day, needs to be facilitated by the proper tools. Storage Switzerland’s on demand webinar with SolarWinds.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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