As pressure increases on storage managers to deliver ever-higher levels of utilization, security and flexibility, a new generation of highly efficient storage architectures will be required, one that can deliver significant cost of ownership savings across a wide range of whole-life operational costs.
The storage vendors have not been slow to react to this challenge and a plethora of technologies are now available to enhance storage performance, efficiency and manageability, including various forms of virtualization, deduplication, thin provisioning and tiering. All have the potential to deliver significant operational benefits when implemented correctly.
The challenge for the user is in quantifying the real financial benefits delivered by these technologies during the complete life cycle of the solution. Users know that it is increasingly untenable to evaluate storage infrastructure investments in terms of simple metrics like cost/GB, and they are looking to vendors to provide better financial tools that can deliver a clear assessment of the real return and improved return on assets (ROA) on their storage infrastructure investment.
One such vendor that has risen to this challenge is Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a Japanese manufacturer and vendor of storage solutions used primarily in enterprise and midsize companies. The company has developed a range of methodologies, tools and practices aimed at identifying, quantifying and saving operational costs of high-end storage systems, which will be described and assessed in this paper.