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David Merrill's Blog - The Storage Economist

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The Storage Economist

Focus on Reducing Unit Costs of IT

by David Merrill on Nov 11, 2014

Over the years I have written a lot of material around cost reduction tactics. As I look at unit costs of storage, VM, cloud, big data and long-term digital preservation, we see patterns of success across IT organizations in different vertical markets. These patterns are significant, since these general investments are much more than individual elements or products.

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Hybrid Cloud Economics–Part 3

by David Merrill on Jul 17, 2014

In conclusion to my 3-part series on hybrid cloud cost, let’s review a few key points:

  • Hybrid clouds can bring the best part of public and private ownership to the local storage team
  • Crossover points are important, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution
  • The time dimension is important, be sure to have a time horizon in your comparisons that include multiple events like migrations or changing of vendors
  • Tightly integrated solutions that allow multi-vendor, seamless cloud integration is the most important architecture consideration
  • Costs are still being shifted and masked in any and all cloud economic comparisons. Make sure you consider more than just the subscription cost or the purchase price

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Hybrid Cloud Economics–Part 2

by David Merrill on Jul 11, 2014

This is a continuation of a 3-part series on the economic factors for hybrid clouds. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of cloud storage vs. DIY storage (in this case a low cost tier of storage for archive or object store). Now if we take the best of each, and build a hybrid cloud tier, the results are impressive since we can select the strong benefits of the DIY and public cloud offering in the design of a hybrid cloud.

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Hybrid Cloud Economics

by David Merrill on Jun 24, 2014

Over the last 5-6 years, I have done extensive modeling and writing about the economics of storage (and VM) in the cloud. Like most vendors, we have worked to find defensive positions against public cloud offerings. These public offerings offer an extremely low consumption price, and that has been attractive to many, despite the variety of technical and business concerns with public clouds. Most of my own economic work has been to define total costs of cloud options, as compared to hosting infrastructure in your own data center. Not surprisingly, there is always a cross-over point where the sweet spot begins or ends for any technology.

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Business Defined IT–Part 2

by David Merrill on Jun 23, 2014

A few trips to Japan and more than a few domestic trips have gotten me behind on my blog postings. This is a follow-up to my last one over a month ago on Business Defined IT. As previously covered, business really boils down to 2 key dimensions, time and money. Let’s get into the money aspect now.

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Business Defined IT

Last week HDS made several key solution and product announcements, specifically around the VSP G1000 and Continuous Cloud Infrastructure that is enabled by new products and services. One of the key themes imbedded in the announcement materials is “Business Defined IT” (BD-IT), a business-view corollary to the software defined world that IT is moving toward. I would like to expand on some of the key concepts around business defined IT, in addition to the materials included last week’s announcement.

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IT as a Profit Center

For decades, IT departments have been a cost center. Information technology is a cost to the company. The services and capabilities are undoubtedly valuable, but like legal, accounting, or human resources departments they are a cost to the company. In my humble opinion, in many cases this should change.

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The Storage Costs of Protection

I have presented several blog entries on the topic of data protection costs. In a previous blog I suggest that we cannot afford to protect data at the rate that we are now accustomed to.
In another entry, I attempted to outline how data protection trends have given rise to over-protected or over-insured data.

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SSD Opens the Way for More Tiers of Storage

I came across this graphic from the HDS Competitive Marketing Group, and it depicts very well the SSD/Flash innovation into traditional storage architectures.

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2014 Prediction #3 – Price Erosion Will Not Keep Up with Growth Rates

by David Merrill on Jan 30, 2014

This post is the third in my prediction on the economics of IT series. Be sure to read predictions 1 and 2 if you missed them. My 3rd prediction has to with spending, price erosion and growth. From a macro view, my prediction is that Moore’s law cannot keep up with the rate of growth while holding CAPEX flat.

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