Monday, March 08, 2010

How much does it cost to save a file?

Imagine if before you saved a PDF on your corporate storage a statement came up that said “This 500 meg file will cost you $1.00 to save on our corporate system.” Charging users for storage is something that is talked about often, but rarely put into place. Setting up the parameters for creating a system would not be that hard, budgets could be set by departments and per person. And there could be extra charges for saving files on based on different back up criteria. The program could also provide weekly, monthly and quarterly email to users suggesting which files had not been accessed since being saved and suggesting they might be ripe for deletion, but unless people are charged for their storage resource usage most would probably ignore the suggested deletions.

Implementing the program would be relatively trivial, but I imagine creating the charge back scheme would elicit howls from just about every department in an organization. Storage is viewed as a free resource by most corporate users, and like any free resource it is used inefficiently. However, as soon as users saw that they were running up against their hard budget end point, I’ll bet they would start deleting the unimportant jokes, presentations and copies of the garbage they are keeping on corporate spinning disks.

Until enterprise storage users are charged for their resource usage they will not have any economic reason to use storage efficiently. Although enterprise storage remains an expensive resource to purchase, manage and maintain by corporate IT staffs, it is viewed as free to end users. Since storage users are not using their storage resources economically or being charged for their usage, corporate IT storage will remain a cost center in the eyes of management.

In this environment, cost conscience corporations will be forced to impose budget constraints on the IT department’s storage acquisitions, service and support contracts. Since companies can’t go after the users of storage, they go after the suppliers. Today many companies are pushing for discounts from their primary storage suppliers, while others are looking for alternatives to the high cost of arrays and support that the major OEM’s are charging.

Zerowait does not have a toll based solution for charging corporate storage resource users, but we do have a variety of solutions for helping storage IT save money on hardware, service and support. In addition to our legacy hardware support business we are introducing a new storage solution which changes the dynamics of enterprise storage costs. Zerowait's SimplStor product line was designed with input from our customers to help them reduce their storage expenditures. When viewed together, Zerowait’s legacy support and SimplStor are an economical solution for the acquisition and maintenance of our customers’ storage resources.

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