How to Use Single Instancing to Control Storage Expense - Page 3

Potential savings of single instancing solutions

There is a simple process that can be used to analyze the potential savings of single instancing solutions. This entails a review of production schedules and an analysis of samples of the target documents. This is needed in order to assess the overall storage reduction opportunity and to calculate the potential cost reduction.

One example of the ROI that can be achieved through single instancing is an insurance company that was producing 2,000,000 documents per day. While an individual document was not large-averaging 70KB each-the total daily storage requirement was approximately 140GB per day (2,000,000 x 70KB). The batch was processed 22 times a month, for a total storage requirement of 3,080GB per month.

Based on industry standards and customer input, it was estimated that the fully burdened cost of storage was $25 per GB per month. The total cost of storage was $77,000 per month (3,080GB x $25 per GB per month). By implementing single instancing, the overall daily storage footprint could be reduced by 83 percent, for a total savings of $63,910 per month or $766,929 annually.

Organizations can take advantage of single instancing while storing either native print stream formats or much larger visual formats such as PDF or TIFF. As the document is reconstituted on the fly upon retrieval, the opportunity exists to recycle the content and present the document in any format the customer wishes. The opportunity also exists to extract portions of the information and present reusable extracts in, say, CSV) format.

We once thought that our water resources were unlimited. We have come to understand that this is untrue. The illusion of unlimited, cheap storage is also a fallacy. The true, fully-burdened cost of storage goes beyond the cost of the disk to include the operational costs associated with backup media, data center floor space and the staff to support the infrastructure. Perhaps even more importantly, the environmental cost of the electricity for the server and the cooling equipment cannot be underestimated.

With large enterprises spending as much as 40 percent of their IT budgets on their storage infrastructures, there is greater incentive than ever to apply the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra to achieve hard cost savings and enjoy the benefits of green IT.

Stuart Butts is co-founder, chairman, CEOand President of Xenos Group, Inc. His vision and commitment have been instrumental in carrying Xenos forward to its present position as a world leader in its segment. A successful entrepreneur and creative leader, Stuart has founded a number of leading-edge technology companies in both Canada and the United States. He is a graduate of Trent University and the University of Toronto Law School, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He can be reached at sb[email protected].