Storage allocation is a complex task, resulting in storage administrators allocating storage based upon applications’ growth estimations. This often leads organizations to purchase much more storage than is actually needed at the time of implementation. Over time, some applications may require more than was initially allocated for them and others may have extra capacity which cannot be reclaimed.
Storage virtualization solutions enable the creation of logical “storage pools” that can be expanded dynamically by adding more physical storage, and creating logical volumes from the storage pools. Those logical volumes are like any other volume to the application but can be easily expanded by the virtualization software. The result is that an organization can buy just the storage it needs, expand volumes on demand and add physical storage only when needed. The cost of storage is lower, since organizations buy only what is required at each point in time and a very low amount of storage remains unused.
4. Implement Central Storage Management
Today, many software applications are used to manage storage. In some cases one vendor offers a few software applications – each for different purposes (e.g., one for snapshots and one for mirroring), not to mention software applications from different vendors. Implementing such applications requires some level of training and knowledge resulting in higher cost of maintenance. By selecting storage management software that can provide centralized management for all storage devices and services an organization can significantly reduce maintenance costs.
5. Use Low-Capacity Snapshots to Protect Against Logical Failures
Market research shows that 93% of failures are logical. Among logical failures we count virus attacks, corrupt file systems, or accidental file deletion by users. Recovering from logical failures using tapes is a long and exhausting process. Tapes must be ordered from the remote vault. Data extraction is time consuming. Finally, if the data cannot be found or is damaged, the process has to be repeated using a different set of tapes.
By using low-capacity snapshots, recovery from logical failures can be done in a few minutes - by either mounting a recovery server to a snapshot in the case of data loss or by rolling back the volume and remounting to a snapshot in the case of damage to the entire volume.
Low capacity snapshots consume very little storage space (an average of 5% of volume size per day). Therefore, the cost of implementation is minimal, while the saving of recovery resources is huge.
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