Infoworld have a great article here discussing how to save money on storage in these tight times we are experiencing. Here's a summary - with my opinions of course!
- Play Hardball with Vendors. Ah if it was only that simple. It may be possible to find another vendor selling hardware marginally cheaper, but are you ready for it? There are few companies who have got their storage deployment to a level where interoperability allows them to take storage from any of a range of vendors. Fewer still who have calculated the cost of migration or the full operating expense for each vendor's product; it isn't all about the hardware cost alone.
- Avoid New Purchases By Reclaiming What You Have. So what tools will you use to achieve this? Do you know how and why you are missing storage which can be reclaimed? Storage reclamation is usually an ad-hoc process run when storage gets tight or when admins have the time. Some places may have written scripts to automate the discovery of wastage but it isn't easy. I use my own software tool and can highlight about 10 separate categories but you need to be careful of the law of diminishing returns.
- Audit Backup and Replication Configurations To Cut Waste. Right, so throw away some backups. Are you *sure* you can do that? Surely the data owner needs to validate whether that backup copy isn't needed any longer...
- Rethink Storage Network Decisions. I like this one. Basically, find a cheaper piece of hardware - which may include DAS! Again, interoperability and migration costs have a big impact here. Any marginal savings may be wiped out by the cost of moving to another platform.
- Use a Tiering Methodology That Delivers Results Simply. Finally a point I agree with. Tiering can be implemented easily by taking a common sense approach to moving data to a cheaper layer of disk. This doesn't have to involve a migration project but can be achieved as users request more storage.
All of these options are great, however they fail to attack the underlying issue of rising costs - that fact that more data is being generated each day. Simply asking users to question whether new storage is needed or existing allocations can be re-used is as easy as implementing new technical solutions.
Remember - keep it simple!