Time to get elastic on storage strategy

With the volume of data organisations store growing at a stratospheric rate, IT organisations are struggling to keep their storage strategy up to date to match demand. Coupled with tougher economic times, the traditional three year forklift upgrade cycle is a thing of the past. But what replaces it? Rather than think in in three year cycles, we now need to think in a more elastic fashion – both in terms of more regular, incremental upgrades and in terms of getting a longer return on licensing spend.

Organisations are storing more and more data. There are many reasons for this: the value of the data in raw or processed form, legal requirements, more machine-readable information, amongst many others.

But this brings with it two further problems; as the volume of data an organisation wants to store skyrockets, the infrastructure that handles it has to grow at a similar pace – and that infrastructure can be inflexible.

Old upgrade techniques based on a full hardware and software refresh every three years – familiar to all as ‘rip and replace’ or ‘forklift upgrades’ just don’t cut it anymore. Existing storage solutions tend not to be built with modularity or scalability in mind. A three-year plan will be unlikely to cope with the new capacity requirements –and a large infrastructure spend will also make most CIOs and CFOs balk.

There is, however, a way out of this that deals with the problems of rapidly growing demand, lack of support for large CAPEX projects and rigid, inflexible infrastructure. By planning for constant, incremental growth, large scale projects can be avoided, and replaced with smaller, more regular spending to handle demand as it increases. This translates into a more constant and predictable revenue stream for you.

The most significant thing in all of this?, Licensing has adapted to cope with this new model, with new firmware releases available free of charge for existing licensees as they become available. This means that the infrastructure your customers invest in today will remain current for a longer period of time and is designed for incremental upgrades which expand with the needs of its users and spreads the total cost of ownership over a much longer period of time.

Let’s stop thinking in terms of a three year cycle completely and get more elastic about our thinking; we all need to look at constant, incremental capacity upgrades and also consider TCO that spans a decade – not 36 months.

I wrote about this topic in greater depth last month, in Storage Networking Solutions Europe – you can read the article in full here. http://bit.ly/ZXmVJG

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About the Author: Robin Kuepers