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David Merrill's Blog - The Storage Economist

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The Storage Economist

The Economics of Very Long-Term Data Retention – Part 2

In my part one of my blog on this topic, I constructed a scenario to understand and determine operational cost factors of preserving and retaining data for very long periods of time (100 years or more). Response is that this time horizon is still too short, and that perhaps hundreds of years should be considered. I hope that my presentation of some ideas could work for the 50,100 and millennial periods of time.

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The Economics of Very Long-term Data Retention

The past couple of weeks I have met with clients in western Canada, New York, New Zealand and Australia. There has been a long-standing comparison of disk and tape over the years. Some of the basic arguments have not changed, but now we are seeing customer face very long-term retention requirements. Some customers have been in the oil/gas market, media, government and some in university research. I noticed that the perspective of long-term differs by customer and by vertical, but each of these discussions has been around a serious and deliberate plan to archive and access data for a minimum of 100 years.

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What To Do With All That Reclaimed Capacity

by David Merrill on Sep 25, 2013

I am supporting a large customer transformation to virtual, thin and tiered storage. The projections that we made months ago about improving utilization has come true; we are forecasting a net reclamation of about 1.5PB of storage through these transformation investments. The older/existing arrays were simply virtualized, and then afterward the volumes were re-presented as thinned volumes. The good news is they have 1.5 PB of reclaimed space. The bad news… they have 1.5 PB of capacity that is still too new to de-commission.

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Intermediate Steps to Cloud, and Still Reduce Costs

by David Merrill on Aug 30, 2013

In my previous blog I discussed some of the investments and steps people can take to be cloud-ready, or cloud-enabled, without necessarily moving everything to an off-site or consumption based delivery model. There are key ingredients that can help to get cloud-ready. And by cloud-ready I mean the same technology and processes that cloud providers use to deliver superior price and cost models for their customers. Some of these key ingredients include: Read More »

Cloud Illusions

by David Merrill on Aug 26, 2013

I am working in South Africa this week, speaking at some great customer events in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Beautiful cities with beautiful people.

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Race to the Bottom: Can Moore’s Law Keep up with Big Data?

by David Merrill on Jul 26, 2013

Moore’s law has been a stable predictor of density and price in the IT world for many decades. Initially used to describe transistor density as a function of time, it has been loosely applied to the price of IT, and for our purposes today the price of storage. Except for 2012 (with Tsunamis and flooding) we have enjoyed storage price erosion in the range of 20-25% per year for many, many years. Storage price erosion is a function of areal density and technology improvements, not necessary transistor density. The chart below (from IIEEE Transactions on Magnetics Vol. 48 May 2012) can give you a rough idea of the future for areal density of NAND, HDD and tape.

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Cloud Economics from the IaaS Perspective

by David Merrill on Jul 22, 2013

I came across an interesting article on how IaaS cloud-provider-economics work. While it is a simple article with basic economic concepts, it sheds some light on how commoditization and differentiation in the market will have to change in the near future.

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Big Data Cost Tier/Ratio

by David Merrill on Jul 18, 2013

As a follow on to my July 6th blog post, here are some cost points to consider for the tiers of storage to be used for big data.

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Big Data Economics, Putting New Wine in Old Bottles

by David Merrill on Jun 18, 2013

In the past 2 months, I have been involved with several big data conferences and speaking opportunities with customers and analysts from all over the world. I see some clear and actionable economic conditions around big data projects that are consistent with actual customer work that I have been involved with over the last 2-3 years. In short, the costs required to build out new big data infrastructures are: Read More »

An Economic View for Big Data Planning

Two weeks ago I spoke at a CIO forum in Australia, sharing the stage with IDC on the topic of trends and directions with big data. Last week, same topic but in Thailand. Next week, same topic but in London.

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David Merrill - The Storage Economist

David Merrill
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