Storage Costs Average $25/GB/Month
The full cost of data storage averages $25/GB/month and is consuming 40% of IT operating budgets.
These figures appeared in an article on "single instancing" by Stuart Butts, CEO of data services company Xenos Group (@xenos_group). I asked Stuart to give Vertatique readers some insight into burdened data costs. His reply:
"The figure of $25/GB/mth was derived from a combination of customer engagements, analyst interviews and [published] reports..."
"...we talk about fully burdened cost, which is not only storage and backup but also floor space in the datacenter, staff to support, server infrastructure, electrical power and cooling. Also, for high availability operations a complete online duplicate infrastructure is required to support a 99.999% availability."
Media industry IT professionals have long understood the data storage cost and management problems inherent the combination of very large data sets and a workflow that require multiple format versions of each. Now, mainstream IT is looking at similar issues under the rubric of "single instancing".
As enterprises are becoming more aware of the true energy/carbon costs of 'cheap' storage, there is a growing interest in strategies that maintain only one copy of content that multiple users can share over time, with format conversion and redistribution occurring on demand.
One of the biggest excess storage culprits during enterprise content creation may well be email, where successive versions of an item are repeatedly emailed and returned during review cycles. This can easily consume storage across an enterprise 50X the size of the actual item, as well as obscure its canonic version.
Smart distributed file systems are ultimate answer. In the meantime, implementation of collaborative workgroup software and other systems that support pass-by-reference rather than pass-by-copy are now Green ICT tactics.
More about Green ICT and storage.
The European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics' October 2009 issue of ERCIM News has articles about energy-efficient storage.