When it comes to managing your storage budget, more often than not, a large piece of that budget and plan is dedicated to archive storage, or data that needs to be preserved in the long-term. In our experience, storage managers struggle with estimating just how much this can cost across various storage platforms. Now there is a way to get a good estimate of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for your long-term data retention needs. In this BlogBytes, we will take a close look at the current data deluge and the costs incurred when storing it for long periods of time, with our new LTO Program TCO Calculator.
Data, Data, and more Data
In a recent article written by IFLScience, it is estimated that about ninety percent of the world’s data was created during the last two years and is growing by the day. The article states that on average, the United States alone pumps out 2,657,700 gigabytes (GB) of internet data every minute and that 4.14 million videos are streaming on YouTube every minute. This leaves organizations of all sizes with a tough decision on where to store their data long-term. A big part of that decision comes down to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
TCO Study Shows Impressive Tape ROI
There are a number of TCO studies that compare the costs of storing data long-term on disk, tape and cloud. One TCO study in particular, by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), shows some remarkable findings. The 10 year study compared an LTO tape-based approach with an all-disk storage approach in-house and in the cloud. As described in the report, the LTO tape-based approach showed, “an impressive 577% return on investment over ten years when accounting both for avoided costs and net new economic improvements.” The study shows that tape can have a very positive effect on controlling long-term storage costs. But what about the specific costs associated with storing your data on tape or in the cloud over a longer period of time?
Let’s start with taking a look at Cloud
In order to meet budget requirements while maintaining the value of data to the business, some storage professionals have considered cloud-based storage for storing second copies of data or for long- term retention of infrequently accessed data. At first glance, cloud storage solutions appear to be too good to be true. Vendors can offer a fixed cost for storing data on a per GB per month basis, with free uploads of the data to the cloud provider’s site. For the IT storage professional, this is a fixed cost that can be moved into the Operating Expense (OPEX) category of their budgets.
Moving long-term storage seems like a great idea, it reduces the impact to the overall IT capital budget and makes accounting for the data fairly simple. It is known that very little data is 100 percent untouched in the cloud, and it is difficult for users to predict when and which data will be required. When data is accessed from the cloud, there are typically additional access costs and costs to retrieve data back that is unused. With this in mind, even cloud service providers are turning to tape storage to help manage costs and protect data. As you can see there are numerous variables to consider when evaluating costs for your long-term data storage, which is what makes a TCO calculator so helpful.
Try the TCO Calculator for yourself
Here’s how the LTO Program TCO Calculator works. The calculator is designed to compare the long-term retention solutions available to consumers on tape and in the cloud. You simply input a few variables to the calculator and it estimates the costs for LTO tape and several cloud storage providers. The variables that you input include:
- How many terabytes of storage you need to protect
- Your annual growth rate
- Your typical retention period (in years)
- The percentage of your data you will retrieve every month
- Any data that will be retrieved every month
- An estimate of your datacenter floor space costs (not including power)
Every enterprise has a different use case scenario, which is why the TCO tool allows you to input your own scenario and receive instant feedback on the estimated costs associated with managing data.
Data growth is a constant variable and managing it efficiently is important. Help yourself make an informed decision and try the TCO calculator with your data here. Many have found that strategic combinations of disk, tape and cloud can help balance performance, cost and data protection.