Capital budgets are pretty tight this year and IT teams all over the globe are being to do more with the same or less. This is good in many ways and hopefully we will overcome some of the profligacy of the past but the responsibility is in our (the end-users) hands, we can’t simply expect the vendors who have encouraged of profligacy in the past to come riding to our rescue. There is an old adage which depending on which continent you sit on goes either ‘Beware Greeks bearing gifts’ or ‘Beware Indians bearing gifts’ or perhaps in modern parlance ‘There aint no such thing as a free lunch’.
So when a vendor comes knocking on your door saying they save you 30/40/50% of your current opex/capex; you have to look very carefully and closely at what they are offering and before you do, I would suggest that there are a few things that you can do prior to this.
- Go through your spreadsheets or however you manage your storage and find all that storage which was reserved for projects which never happened!
- Whilst you’re at that; try and locate that storage which has been freed up from all those servers which have been consolidated and virtualised. Those are the ones that Control Center has been spamming you with alerts about and you studiously ignore as no-one is complaining about the server being down.
- Tell users that there is no more storage available and that they should start deleting things. It is amazing how much stuff can be removed/archived. I’ve just taken over a new team and they have project documentation going back years. I’ve asked them to move all the stale project documentation into an archive directory which I will then zip. Will I gain huge amounts of storage back? No but I’ll get some back and if everyone did this, we’d get quite a lot back.
- Look at your RAID levels; do you actually need everything at RAID-1? Even the Evil Machine Company no longer recommends RAID-1 for everything. You can generate huge wins with this. Last year, we allocated a lot more storage than we bought by doing this.
- And whilst you do the above, perhaps take the chance to right size over-sized file-systems.
Okay, all this stuff takes time and time isn’t always available but before you buy ‘pixie dust’ from vendors; it might be worth having a look at doing some of the above. It’s not a free lunch but it’s a lunch you packed yourself and might be a little cheaper than that free lunch you’ve just been offered.
Just some thoughts anyway….