Optimizing Data Storage Costs

By - February 11, 2020

Both cloud and on-premises storage solutions offer pros and cons unique to their nature. When considering a solution to fit a particular application, proper research and a deep dive into solution differences should be explored, considered and intelligently decided upon. To keep this article outside the battlefield of cloud vs on-premises storage, we will assume that the overall cost of each solution is close enough to be ignored and a specific solution is already in place. Furthermore, the following discussion applies to most storage solutions and applications.

Efficiency – the one-size-fits-all problem

In many cases, this choice is made due to initial cost savings, poor planning or just fast growth. But storage needs change, and not evolving or upgrading to newer technologies, or even the right technology, can be a very costly decision. Understanding your data is the first step to improving your cost-to-performance ratio. Cold data, backups and rarely used information should be treated and stored differently than on-demand application data and frequently-accessed data. Using the one-size-fits-all approach will inevitably lead to high costs. Either because of a legal demand to keep certain information for a predetermined period of time or due to natural growth of stored data, it is inevitable that accumulation of cold information will happen. As this process occurs, understanding your data needs will affect the cost of storage. Optimizing cost becomes a direct function of proper storage application, keeping archives in appropriate storage devices on premises or in the cloud. In the case of on-premises costs, the physical footprint, such as expensive office space, might be a significant factor. In the case of cloud storage, a significant constraint might be the size per dollar ration and speed of access. Regardless of whether you are storing data on premises or in the cloud, proper separation, cleaning up cold data and “tightening” the data size are all best practices and positive steps to achieving the highest cost optimization.

Backup – the magic word!

Everyone is concerned with backups, and yet it is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated elements of any storage. Even while working correctly and operating properly, ongoing backups can feel like pure cost. Backups have a non-direct impact on our daily operations and are sometimes even seen in a negative light if determined to be the cause of a network slowdown or if data is inaccessible during maintenance windows. When evaluating backup\disaster recovery options, an important factor that can drastically help your storage optimization costs is to utilize a solution that contains space saving features such as de-duplication or compression.

Security – the knowledge behind the tools

It is very easy to blame current problems or discomforts on what is already in place. It’s a grass is always greener on the other side kind of a feeling. And while that is sometimes true, most of the time what we have is just right. Using an automobiles and fuel efficiency analogy, sometime it’s not what you drive but how you drive it that makes the biggest difference. To extract the most of any equipment, software or even an automobile, it’s important to understand it, take care of it and follow leading practices for its use. Optimizing the cost of storage, just like any other piece of the construct that is our infrastructure, is a process and should be taken just as seriously. After all, in some cases, the security of your entire operation can be entirely dependent on the storage.

To learn more about RSM’s data storage and recovery services, visit our website or call 800-274-3978.

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