Cost of Storage – Numbers 3 & 4 (of 32)
by David Merrill on Sep 28, 2006
This is a continuation of the Blog saga on the cost of storage sources—–
#3 Storage Software Purchase Cost- Along with hardware, software costs are probably among the most visible expense in the storage infrastructure. However, the hidden cost of storage software is the effect it has on administrator productivity. With heterogeneous infrastructure configurations common in enterprise data centers, storage administrators frequently have to master a range of software products in order to manage capacity effectively. And because tools rarely communicate well with each other, even when they are from the same vendor, the process of provisioning, optimizing, moving, and protecting data can involve products from many different sources. Supporting many different products has a negative impact on administrator productivity and increases training costs.
#4 Storage Software Maintenance – For all the software that is purchased for the storage infrastructure, after an initial warranty period, you will incur monthly maintenance fees. If software is (pre-maturely) de-commissioned, future maintenance costs may be avoided. A friend at EMC taught me years ago that you date your hardware, and marry your software. This is very true, you are locked into a software decision, and therefore a software maintenance cost for a set period of time. It is much more difficult to change software strategies than is hardware. In order to reduce these costs I recommend (among other things):
- Collapsing and consolidating storage assets (SAN, storage arrays, tape systems) will reduce licenses and the associated fees
- Demoting older arrays to Tier n where the SLA does not require strong support; then software license fees can be canceled
- Software license audits to determine if you are really using all the software that you pay maintenance on