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Like Frogs in Boiling Water - The Insidious Impact of Data Growth

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An article by Business Communications Services Program Director Lynda Stadtmueller. For the full whitepaper on IBM Storage, please visit, http://ow.ly/4Nplt.

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Like Frogs in Boiling Water - The Insidious Impact of Data Growth

  1. 1. Like Frogs in Boiling Water: The Insidious Impact of Data GrowthFolk wisdom says that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out.But if you place the frog in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it will complacently scald todeath.I don’t have firsthand knowledge of actual amphibian behavior, but I do know that Frog in BoilingWater syndrome is rampant in data centers. Storage growth creeps in almost unnoticed—a hundredGigabytes here, a handful of additional racks there—until WHAM! Your storage needs havequintupled, your budget is out of control, your applications are running poorly, and the leadershipteam is demanding an explanation.When your storage environment is undergoing steady growth, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to theimpact. So far, you’ve probably been able to absorb the annual increases in volume and budgetwithout having to re-examine your processes or strategy. But data center managers who continue toinsist that the soup pot is a hot tub may find themselves dead in the water when the growthbecomes unmanageable.Don’t let complacency leave your business unprepared for storage growth. Here are three things toremember to help you avoid Frog in Boiling Water syndrome:1. Storage math is different than the math you learned in school. In measuring storage, 1 may equal 5, or 10, or 100. That’s because for each database or file, you create multiple copies. You probably back up each day’s data, and keep that data for a week— maintaining 7 copies at any given time. You may create separate copies of certain data or files for the training department and for testing of new applications. You probably have an off-site backup facility for the entire storage environment. As a result of multiple replications, backups, and redundancies, 1 GB of new data can easily mean 100 GB of storage. Let’s look at an example of data center math. Since average enterprise storage growth is 20 to 40 percent, we’ll use 30 percent growth for our example. That means that for each 100 GB of new storage you added in 2010, you can expect to add 371 GB in 2015. But that’s only a small part of the story. Let’s assume your processes require you to create daily copies of each database, for example, and retain each for a week. That means you have an average of 8 copies of each primary database at any given time. Each is replicated daily in your off-site backup datacenter. In this scenario, every 100 GB of new data in 2010 will yield 6683 GB of storage in 2015. But we’re being too conservative. Surely daily and weekly storage won’t meet your business requirements. Let’s assume we also create monthly snapshots of the database. And we retain them for seven years. That means 100 GB of storage will grow to a whopping 64 TB in five years.©2011 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. A Technical Brief Sponsored by IBM
  2. 2. Exponential Growth of Storage 2010 2015 With replicated and backup databases and 30% annual growth Source: StratecastThis brings us to the second point to remember.2. Storage adds up, in cost. Costs include not just the storage hardware, but also the operational costs required to run it, including power and cooling and technical staff. A rule of thumb in calculating storage costs is that 1 GB of new data equals $1000 in storage costs. That means your 100 GB of new data in 2011 will add $66 million to the budget in 2015. Is your business prepared to foot the bill?And finally, the last point—along with some words of advice to the storage decision-makers.3. More isn’t better. It may be that, once upon a time, the more you managed (in terms of people, square footage, or budget), the more important you were to the company. No longer. Today’s business heroes are the managers who are willing to do more with less, who cut costs out of the business in order to fund new, strategic initiatives. No IT manager wants to be perceived as ignoring or resisting efforts to make storage more efficient. Instead, the goal is to position yourself as a forward thinker, a leader who is focused on achieving highest productivity at the lowest possible cost.The good news is that once you’ve become aware of the insidious storage creep, there are somerelatively simple steps you can take to deflect it. IBM points out three techniques for addressingstorage growth:©2011 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. A Technical Brief Sponsored by IBM
  3. 3. Store less. Common technologies like deduplication and compression can reduce the volume of stored data by 50 to 80 percent, and can improve application performance in the process. Store data in the right place. Data that’s accessed most often should be right at hand; less commonly used data should be tucked away in a less costly storage solution. Optimize the existing storage environment. Before you buy more, make sure you’re fully utilizing the equipment you already have.IBM offers a range of hardware, software, and services that can help you use all three techniques foraddressing storage growth. By addressing storage growth as it happens, you can save money, reduceadministrative complexity, and improve application performance. All in all, a much better outcomethan ending up in hot water.Lynda StadtmuellerProgram Manager – Business Communication ServicesStratecast (a Division of FROST & SULLIVAN)lstadtmueller@stratecast.com©2011 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. A Technical Brief Sponsored by IBM

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