Companies Achieve Major Cost Reductions by Re-thinking the Storage Architecture Model

- written by Phyllis Reiman, Dataram Storage Blog Team Member

Traditional storage architecture practice often includes a re-occurring cycle of technology refresh or upgrades. An underlying premise of this model is that storage performance and optimization issues are best resolved by installing new, expensive storage systems and/or faster disk (SSD or SAS).  It’s a common preconception that the IT storage budget must include significant capital expense to replace storage systems every 3 to 4 years with the latest, greatest technology in order to support business application demand and the associated burgeoning data growth.

This model stems from the past when storage systems were less scalable and had a shorter reliability lifecycle.  Historically, maintaining storage systems beyond a 3 year window could lead to serious business outages due to hardware failure and data recovery – an unacceptable risk to the business.  Although tiering solutions in the form of HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management) were available more than twenty years ago, they generally used two inflexible tiers: disk and tape.

The reliability and scalability of today’s data storage systems enable adoption of a storage architecture model that houses data in the most cost-effective and performance appropriate location.  In other words: companies can now match the business value of their data to the expense of storing it.  This is welcome progress in an era of flat budgets and corporate mandates to deliver cost-effective IT solutions that link to busines objectives.

Organizations that adopt this approach to storage architecture design and deployment achieve major cost reductions by leveraging and better utilizing existing storage assets.  Today the reliable life of storage systems is at least twice that of the past, and recent advances in storage management solutions such as virtualization, caching, tiering, deduplication and archiving allow IT management to re-think traditional practices.  Aligning storage technology acquisiton and cost-structure with strategic objectives is now an achievable goal – one that enables IT to attain cost-effective results that support business growth while delivering new applications that enhance competitive advantage.

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