Capacity Efficiencies, Again and Again
by Claus Mikkelsen on Dec 19, 2011
Why again? Well, it was about a year and a half ago when I last blogged, and much has changed since then, although the subject is still front and center. David Merrill has certainly discussed this numerous times as well, including this always-amusing post from March.
So why bring Capacity Efficiency (CE) up again? Well, two recent events bring it back to center stage in my mind.
The first event was a meeting with a prospective customer a number of weeks ago who was looking to secure a fairly large amount of storage capacity, and kept hammering away at our sales guy for the “bottom line”.
“What’s your dollars per terabyte” he kept asking.
A befuddled sales team (and frustrated yours truly) hung in there, and we were finally able to turn it into a constructive conversation. But I’m still baffled at how many people have not let go of the cost/TB mentality.
The second was a meeting I had with Dave Russell of Gartner when we were discussing data protection issues. David Merrill was on the phone during this discussion. I like Dave Russell, and he’s a great analyst, but when he said that we keep 12-15 copies of all data, I guess I was a bit surprised that it was that high. Then David Merrill chimed in that his assessment was 11-13 copies.
So now I’m thinking that two of the smartest guys in this biz are agreeing that we’re keeping way too much data. I’ll come back to these numbers in a few weeks when Ros Schulman and I blog on this in our data protection series (with Merrill, just to confuse you even further). But keep that number of 11-15 in mind.
So now let’s mix all the various ingredients: my original blog from March 2010, David’s blog from March of this year, the “let’s all keep a dozen copies” discussion with Russell, and the fact that many folks are still in the per/TB world when it comes to storage purchase. Well, mix that together and you get a pretty bad-tasting stew.
But with CE, getting the most out of every TB you purchase is becoming a much larger issue as I peel back the layers. Thin provisioning (including write same and page zeroing), single instance store, deduplication, compression, dynamic tiering, archiving, etc., when multiplied by a factor of 15, makes a huge difference in data center and storage economics.
For other posts on maximizing storage and capacity efficiencies, check these out: http://blogs.hds.com/capacity-efficiency.php
Claus, the question “What’s your dollars per terabyte” is a typical question of C-level executive who look at storage as a commodity. When I was in Gartner I was ask similar question many times from the EXP members (Gartner executive program). My standard answer was: Mr. x storage is not tomatoes which you buy per kilo, but even vegetables has different qualities and price”. This level of executives often taking purchasing decision without understanding (they don’t have time to research) what they buy and what they pay for. I seen two surveys which ask which company is the market leader in virtualization (innovation and market shares) and both shown EMC as the leader (3,4 times more points than HDS or IBM).
I estimate the number of average stored copies in enterprise as 7-10