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Five ways to get the most out of existing storage

Logan G. Harbaugh | Nov. 24, 2011
Recent flooding in Thailand has affected many hard drive manufacturers, resulting in price hikes for hard drives of as much as 50 to 100 percent.

4. Move Files to Secondary Storage

Many organizations have high-performance storage such as fibre channel or iSCSI RAID systems for important applications, but often that same storage ends up being used for applications that don’t need the high speed. You can use storage management applications, or move data manually, but moving less frequently-needed data to secondary storage can free up lots of space on the expensive equipment. Storage management software often can allow you to create several tiers of storage, including one with the highest performance a less-expensive high-performance system, a secondary storage system, as well as offline storage such as tape or optical disk.

5. Consider the Cloud

If you’ve exhausted all the options and are still running out of storage space on existing gear, consider cloud storage. You can temporarily (or permanently) move data to a cloud vendor’s storage without having to go out and buy new equipment. The great advantage here is that cloud storage is pay as you go, so you only pay for as much as you’re using. The downside is that the storage is outside of your control. Depending on how critical the data is, you may want to have additional safeguards both for storing the data multiple times, and for encrypting the data, both en route and when stored at the cloud provider’s location.

Whether it’s to ride out the results of flooding, or to deal with the ever-increasing amounts of data in use in most organizations, there are alternatives to just buying more storage. Many newer storage systems from vendors such as EMC, NetApp, HP, or Compellent offer the features mentioned above, including storage management, compression or deduplication, storage tiering and storage migration. But you can get some of the same results without buying a new system, using readily available software or doing the tasks manually.


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