Storage: Looking Forward

Updated: August 25, 2010

There are multiple tiers of issues to address when your organization starts the discussions about adding additional storage:

  1. Current Needs + Tomorrows Needs
  2. What (departments, individuals, systems) needs access to the storage
  3. Backup and Retention of the storage
  4. Storage Management

Issue #1 (Current Needs + Tomorrows Needs) the IT Dept is often, due to budgeting, forced to cut Tomorrows Needs only to face the inevitable email: "Please check your network share and delete any unnecessary files and folders" only to then have the inevitable response: "Can your restore folder X ASAP as it was deleted accidentally". This can be avoided by looking ahead at the company growth needs (personnel and application) and purchasing in stages. This allows the dept to avoid trying to pass through one huge bill as well as staying one step ahead of the issues.

Issue #2 is fairly straight forward though it involved a lot of conversation and even more translation. Often times a group is just not aware of their access needs until a project is critical but if the IT department is proactive in communicating what will be taking place with their storage space it can eliminate rushed jobs down the road.

Issues #3 and 4 are tied together. Whomever is tasked with assessing local storage over using outsourced storage will spend a bulk of the time concentrating on these area because that is where the majority of the cost will lie. The more storage you acquire the more backup time and space will take and the more management you will need. Do you have the manpower to deal with your expanding needs and what will it cost to obtain that manpower?

Outsourcing become attractive as a means of offloading the headaches involved with additional storage. The external company will deal with the cooling, backups and physical space needed, however your company will then have to deal with SLAs that may not be to your liking (or will cost you extra), problems with connectivity issues to the storage company (that may not be their fault) and retention of your data (was it truly deleted, could it be subpoenaed).

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