The 2009 Mantra: At All Costs, Reduce Costs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-01-13 Print this article Print

The 2009 IT Mantra: At All Costs, Reduce Costs

All data roads eventually lead to some kind of storage, whether it be on 15K RPM Fibre Channel disks, a slower-running SATA (Serial ATA) drive, or a tape cartridge stored in an Iron Mountain vault. Thus, efficient data storage is a key factor in a well-run enterprise IT operation.

Redundant data is the enemy; it is costly, wastes energy and generally slows storage I/O, traditionally the major bottleneck of storage.

Data deduplication -- not a new idea but one which has evolved into its own market in the last few years -- eliminates redundant data from a disk storage device in order to lower storage space requirements. In turn, this lowers data center power and cooling costs and lessens the amount of carbon dioxide produced to generate power to run the hardware.

"Data deduplication is no longer a fad," Beth White, Data Domain's vice president of marketing, told eWEEK. " 'Dedupe' is now a proven technology. We're starting to see these very large organizations adopt dedupe in volume and even as a standard. We see this as continuing to develop."

Thin provisioning is also gaining stature in this drive to new efficiencies. This is a method of storage resource management and virtualization that lets IT administrators limit the allocation of actual physical storage to what applications immediately need. It enables the automatic addition of capacity on demand up to pre-set limits so that IT departments can avoid buying and managing excessive amounts of disk storage.

Simply deleting old files that are no longer necessary and/or legally required is another way to add efficiency, because it adds immediate capacity.

"A lot of people haven't embraced a 'cleaning up' approach for two reasons: One, things are going well and they don't want to be bothered with it -- they'll just keep everything. Two, there is really no way to integrate it into a movement," said Dave West, marketing vice-president of automated storage provider CommVault.

"You can identify the data and see that it's old, but what do you do with it? If it's not identified with a data movement technology, you haven't taken action -- all you've done is identify it."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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