Storage is a puzzle with so many facets that getting the correct answer is not easy. Consider the list of options that must be decided before a purchase decision is made in the storage arena:

1) Capacity to purchase.
2) Forecasted storage growth over the year.
3) Speed of retrieval for users.
4) Lost files recovery options and speed.
5) Cost at purchase time.
6) Continuing cost of operation for system.
7) Continuing cost of maintenance for software and hardware.
8) Cost of staff trained to use and maintain storage systems.
9) Projected cost of replacement parts, after company supersedes equipment.
10) Availability of maintenance parts for 3, 5 and 7 years.

Creating an algorithm to manage these fixed and variable costs is rather difficult for the average IT organization. And there are many other parts to the equation. IT departments are not trained in the economics and book keeping aspects of the business they serve. However, viewing storage from a hardware performance perspective only is myopic and does not provide the business with the real cost of storage. For Example, if an inventory item was sitting on the shelf for two or three years without being used, the accounting department would have a cost for the unused inventory. And perhaps right down the asset. However, if a company has an unused inventory of computer storage the only costs associated with it are the costs of power to run the underutilized storage . Sooner or later companies are going to have to recognize unused storage inventory as a cost to the business.

I had dinner with an economist in Boston this week and he has tried to make economical storage decisions, but has been stymied by documentation and other headaches in creating an economical storage solution for his company. His thoughts and problems are here.

It is an interesting article, and I think you will enjoy it.

Creating an algorithm

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