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Claranet | Stop Comparing Cost of Storage

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Real Cost of Storage White Paper 8 • Elasticity. If the environment is more accustomed to an unpredictable workload does the storage service need to accommodate large peaks and troughs of demand, and will these be capacity or performance peaks and troughs? • Collaboration. Much of today's unstructured content needs to be shared with team members, between departments, and accessible from the office and on the move. It is the software and the presentation layer that enables this, not the physical storage medium, and only the two together create a data storage service. • Compliance. Customer, company, regulatory, and statutory compliance will demand data lifecycle control and recoverability as well as potential mandates over the physical location of data records. • Durability. How well the data is protected against physical or logical failure – human error, malicious attack, or hardware, software, network, and site loss or failure. When determining the true cost of storage, it is imperative that the full data storage service stack is included in the TCO math. Equally, when comparing current state costs with alternative solutions and services make sure the TCOs are comparable and all inclusive. Massive 'Copy Data' Overhead Having understood users, the types of data they want to store, and the characteristics the applications that support them might demand of the range of data storage services on offer, it is then important to understand each of the use cases. • Production. This is the 'live' data set that consumers are using to go about their day-to-day business. Probably the most important and requiring the highest level of care and attention. • Analytics. Often referred to as business intelligence. Business analysts will take a copy of certain production data sets for analysis. They will often run this analysis on the same primary storage system as the original. • Development. Developers of applications will often take a copy of certain production data sets to ensure the application performs and behaves in the way they expect. Once again, this copy data overhead is usually a burden upon the same expensive storage system as that of the original. • User acceptance testing (UAT). Once the application is considered ready for use it will be released to a sample set of users who will test it to ensure it meets their requirements. This will typically require at least another copy of chosen production data sets. • DevOps. Before the application is released to the wider user community it then has to be tested within an environment that simulates the physical and logical architecture of production services. This often requires yet another copy of data. • Database Administration. DBAs will create copies of database content to optimise performance through housekeeping or coding tasks, and will take their own copies via dumps for recovery or environment replication purposes. • IT Operations. For every one of the above use cases there will be a need to provide a recovery service offering a range of recovery point and recovery time service levels for each of the data sets. This can mean a copy of every use case data set for every one of the last 30 days, some of which may need to be retained for years to meet compliance demands. For highly sensitive and important data sets these copies may need to be taken multiple times within every hour. It is easy to see how a single production data set, by means of its various use cases can balloon to dozens or even hundreds of copies with the equivalent exponential impact on cost. Business executives often see the £1 million bill for their storage and ask why the production capacity they need is a tenth of the price in the cloud. This is often due to an absence of copy data understanding or consideration of use case. It is the software and the presentation layer that enables this, not the physical storage medium, and only the two together create a data storage service. Executives often see the £1 million bill for their storage and ask why the production capacity they need is a tenth of the price in the cloud. This is often due to an absence of copy data understanding or consideration of use case.

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