Storage utilization in data centers decreased from 67% in 2011 to 56% in 2017, equating to an effective cost increase of 11%. Information Technology Leaders should look beyond vendor discounts and learn how to save on storage costs by enforcing existing policies and deploying new technologies to increase utilization.
For every 10% of unused storage or reduced storage utilization in a typical 300TB array, the cost of wasted space is approximately $12,000 for a hybrid array and $60,000 for a solid-state array (SSA) including software, support and maintenance. These cost inefficiencies effectively double if storage utilization is at only 60%, and so on per every 10% reduction in capacity utilization.
Purchase costs for storage within integrated systems are close to those of hybrid storage arrays, although they can be higher. Costs for object storage systems, which are often used for analytics workloads, are approximately the same as low-cost all-disk (hard-disk drive [HDD]) storage arrays. IT administration costs or staff costs can also be reduced when the storage utilization rates are increased, as reducing the total amount of raw capacity requires fewer storage administrators. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in storage administrator or even generalist administrator productivity.
To realize cost savings, organizations should review the following:
- For storage infrastructures used to store unstructured data: Increase the amount of capacity utilized. Deploy and run file analytics software to ascertain when the data was last accessed and by whom. Deploy a storage tiering strategy to move data to the right storage tier based on the age of data. If possible, enforce data deletion policies for noncritical data.
- For traditional application storage: Use storage monitoring tools to identify storage inactivity. Work with the application owners to retrieve dormant storage logical unit numbers (LUNs) and add them back to the storage pool.
- For systems having internal or external storage: Implement a monitoring process highlighting low utilized storage and increasing storage utilization to 80%.
Contact our storage solution experts for more information.