Thursday, November 03, 2005

How much of your NetApp total storage is dedicated to File system overhead, spares, and right sizing of disks?

Do you care?

Not everyone is concerned about how much it costs to purchase and operate a storage subsystem that starts at only 70 % efficiency. Many people feel reliability is more important than cost.

“Today, a cost-efficient, secure, and reliable remote disaster recovery strategy is critical—customers have no room for lost or inaccessible data,” said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance.


How can customers have room on their arrays for lost or inaccessible data when parity and spares take up more of their system than data storage?

Taking the graphic in this posting, and using its information we are able to explain where a customer's storage budget is being used. As you can see, the usable storage in this graphic was less then 30%, but they had almost 35% reserved in spares. Imagine if this was an inventory item and you had to keep more spare parts for replacement than you used in production! Another interesting thing that this graphic shows is that parity usage almost equals usable storage.

In this example over 1/3 of the NetApp filer's space is used up for system purposes. Over 1/3 is used for spares, and less than 1/3 is available for storage purposes. This example shows that the usable NetApp storage cost that this customer is paying for is quite expensive, since less then 33% of the storage system is actually used for storage. Using 2 or 3 36GB disks for your boot sector and 144's or larger for your data volume can save you a lot of space on your total storage in a NetApp array, but that is only a start.

Zerowait can help you maximize your NetApp storage utilization, which will help keep your costs of storage down!

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