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How to Do More with Less in Enterprise Storage

It’s true that there are some signs our economy is starting to turn back around, at least in some areas and some sectors. Still, it’s going to be a while before IT has the kinds of resources it had access to just a decade ago. The storage management component of IT, while it may see some growth due to things like increased need for compliance and demands for greater storage capacity, is going to be asked to do more for less. Enterprise storage personnel are asked to move the organization forward without investment, or with minimal investment.

Cost Avoidance and Cost Savings
If you are being asked to cut your enterprise storage expenses, you’re going to look at those cuts in terms of the impact they have on the organization. Cuts fall into two camps:

•    Cost savings reduce your budget today. They product quick and tangible results, right now. Examples would include reducing or eliminating a service contract or lowering your contracted throughput with an outside vendor.

•    Cost avoidance reduces your budget in the future. It lets you put off costs or even eliminate costs that you anticipated would hit in the future. This is the kind of cost “cutting” that politicians like to discuss, and doesn’t represent spending less but rather not spending more.

Obviously, cost savings have the most visible impact. Arguably, cost savings is also the real measure of whether you’re doing more with less. Cost avoidance is more like doing less with the same, or even doing the same with less.

In practical terms, what are some of the ways to avoid costs in enterprise storage? Things that come to mind include improving capacity utilization. Many enterprises find their used to usable ration at around 20 percent, which means there is plenty of extra space that can be put to good use. Cleaning up data, eliminating unnecessary copies, getting rid of temporary files, utilizing compression and deduplication technologies will all help us to avoid buying new disks or arrays and expanding infrastructure.

Cost savings are harder to come by in the enterprise storage environment. Dropping an existing expense probably means breaking a lease, returning equipment or worse. In many cases, getting tough in negotiations with your vendors may lead to cost savings. Unfortunately, one of the most rapid ways to save costs is to eliminate personnel. The problem, of course, is that this move can dramatically impact service.

There are some other ways to realize immediate costs savings. Converting capital costs to operational costs is one way. This usually involves bringing in service providers. Rather than choosing to replace a server, for example, you hire a vendor to provide managed services. This lets you take the old equipment off the floor, reducing power and maintenance costs out of the gate.

Ultimately, if your organization is asking you to do more with less in terms of enterprise storage, you’re going to have to get creative about making the most of what you have and finding new solutions that don’t increase costs.

Rethinking Business Continuity

business continuityAlmost every business organization understands that successful operations depend on the continuous availability of its applications. Most companies rely on internal applications – ranging from enterprise resource planning to payroll systems – to keep the wheels of the organization turning. They also depend on external-facing applications for everything from selling products to their customers to automating the supply chain with suppliers and partners. The failure of any of these business-critical applications could be catastrophic to a company.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.