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Updating Your Data Storage Solution

posted by Darren McLaws @ 1:20 PM
Thursday, July 16, 2009

As new technologies continue to unveil in the data storage market, many businesses are asking themselves the nagging questions, “Should we upgrade our tape based storage system to disk or a hard drive solution? Would it save us enough money in the long run to pay more now for an upgrade?” These are important questions that should be addressed with much consideration and care. There is a common tendency for each of us as humans to want to be impulsive in obtaining the newest and latest of everything. This passion does not exclude the desire for companies to be up to date with new storage devices.

There has been an enormous shift in the market, especially lately, in favor of consumer demand for data deduplication devices that store changes from backup to backup instead of storing full file copies. This unique approach reduces the disk space required by at least 10, and up to 50 to 1, delivering unparalleled cost savings and performance all in a solution that is less than 30% the cost of standard SATA based storage. A popular data deduplication company, Acronis, announced just yesterday that they have released a device that can calculate the amount of money any particular business can save by switching from their old storage system to one of their data deduplication systems. The deduplication calculator, “quickly estimates the storage savings an organization could realize using deduplication to cut storage requirements.” For example, ” a customer with 10 servers and 2TB of data that changes 5 percent per day and is kept for four weeks, will save about $20,000 in storage costs annually.”

Just because a fancily designed calculator says you’re going to save “X” amount of money per year by switching to a new system, doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best way to go for each person or business. These guys are, of course, trying to sell their product just like the rest of us and if it takes a money saving calculator to convince some than that is what they are going to provide. There are however, many criteria that should be considered when deciding whether or not to upgrade your storage solution.

One obvious aspect is the cost of upgrade. A completely new disk based backup solution for an average sized company is going to cost upwards of $20,000. In the end it may save you enough money to compensate for the high upfront cost but it still boils down to whether or not you have that kind of dispensable cash in your porcelain pig. Maybe you have one tape drive that needs to be replaced while the rest of your system is in tact and working fine. In this case, perhaps purchasing a newly refurbished  IBM 3590 E11 would be sufficient and would save you thousands of dollars without sacrificing valuable downtime required to order in a whole new system.

That leads to another aspect to consider which is the time it will take to set up a new disk based backup system. A good system should only take minutes to setup and begin working properly. If it needs anything more than an IP address, a system name, and the creation of one or more destination NAS shares to get online, then it is too complex. Also, once installed, the system should require almost no on-going management. It should worry about capacity, backup verification, and simply alert you when something needs attention. If the new system doesn’t line up with any of these criteria than it is probably not worth the hassle of upgrading from your old system.

As with any big decision in life, you should talk with an expert on data storage before making any rash choices. Our representatives at CPUInc are highly qualified and will make absolutely sure you get exactly the right product tailored to your specific needs. We can help you upgrade to the newest disk-based backup solution with byte-level data de-duplication or help maintain your previous tape drives with affordable refurbished models from all the major brands. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out more about our products and services.

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