Storage Capacity Fast Guide: Storage technologies

Storage capacity must be carefully planned. Get your clients' storage growth under control with these storage technologies, including tiered storage, storage compression and data deduplication.

How well you are able to develop storage capacity planning techniques to control a customer's storage growth will go a long way in determining if your relationship is ongoing or short-lived.

Constantly having to buy more storage is one of a data center's greatest expenses -- and a sure signal to customers that their storage is poorly managed. While cost remains the largest motivating factor for good storage management, business concerns are just as important: Customers cannot afford to max out storage capacity only to watch applications fail because they are unable to run. The result may be downtime, lost revenues or lost data.

So, for help controlling storage growth in a customer's shop, you'll want to take advantage of the key storage technologies identified in this fast guide, covering everything from tiered storage to thin provisioning.

First of all, you must remember that developing a storage strategy isn't only about selecting the right hardware and hard drives; it also involves a business plan. You must first understand key business issues to recommend the right amount and type of storage the customer will need. This tip, Storage strategy: How to meet ongoing customer needs, will teach you how to plan a storage system that will help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) grow their storage operations properly.

To further develop that storage strategy, then consider these storage technologies.

Storage capacity planning with tiered storage

The technical definition on Whatis.com states that tiered storage is a method for assigning different categories of data -- which may be based on levels of data protection, storage performance requirements, how often the data is access, etc. -- to different types of storage media. Implementing tiered storage for a customer allows you to reduce their total storage costs.

However, tiered storage can actually lead to higher costs for customers and hours of headaches for you if not done properly. Get the facts about tiered storage and learn the right way to tier storage to help control storage growth in this tip called Tiered storage gone wrong.

Storage capacity planning with storage inventory management

Running out of storage space is not an option for any company, particularly not the small or midsized business (SMB) that may rely entirely on having access to data. Knowing how to manage and control storage growth is as important as getting the right hardware and securing it all properly. Check out this storage inventory management tip on managing storage inventory to make sure you don't invest in too much or too little storage space for customers.

Storage capacity planning with storage compression and data deduplication

In order to reduce the amount of storage required to meet customer storage capacity needs, you may want to take advantage of the storage compression technologies, which will help you learn the basic methods of storage compression and data deduplication tools.

Storage capacity planning with thin provisioning

Thin provisioning can save money for your clients and help you get the most out of their expensive storage investments. Consider using this storage technology to control storage growth and save customers money. It is a good way to alleviate the cost and hassle of constantly upgrading and reconfiguring storage systems -- just keep certain points in mind, outlined in this tip: Thin provisioning -- too good to be true?

This was first published in October 2007

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