Thursday, June 25, 2009

If Banking Were Like Storage

I imagine most people would be upset if they found out their U.S. bank statements were actually quoted in Canadian dollars. (As I write this the exchange rate is 1.15 CAD to each USD). What looks like $100 in accrued interest turns out to be under $86 when you spend it (in the US).

Likewise, I imagine many consumers of storage wonder what happens to all of those terabytes when they “spend” them. What is the difference between “raw” storage (ie, the bank statement) and “usable” storage (that is, how much you have when you spend it)?

From my perspective, if we’re not talking about storage capacity in terms of how we spend it, we’re having the wrong discussion. Yet everyday, storage consumers accept quotes with storage capacities they'll never see.

Obviously, storage capacity is not the sole determining factor when specifying the Need. In most cases performance requirements, replication requirements, backup windows, data usage methods and patterns, and perhaps most importantly the intrinsic value of the data all contribute to the total solution.

This blog series will meander through these topics over the coming weeks.

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