Properly managing storage capacity is key to keeping up with the massive data growth of storage environments from EMC. When considering purchasing a storage system or formulating a capacity planning strategy, we suggest taking these 7 factors into account in determining what will best meet your current and future needs.
1. Know the tools that best suit your organization
Depending on the size of your business, the tools needed in order to analyze your environment’s data growth will vary greatly. If you are a smaller size business, you may be able to utilize an Excel spreadsheet and a performance-monitoring tool to track disk space and space currently used. For a larger business, the likelihood is that you’ll need more granularity in your information gathered. A Storage Resource Management (SRM) software, and capacity planning tools and calculators will be more likely to better suit your needs.
What is important to keep in mind is understanding the complexity of your data needs and being able to choose the right tools to help you analyze the data growth within your environment, whether through and Excel spreadsheet or an expansive performance monitoring tool.
2. Determine your storage requirements
Plan for the total amount of storage you need rather than just what your system reports as available. So, for example, calculate raw storage needs rather than usable storage. Also, for every GB of disk storage you add, ensure that you have properly sized the disk and storage space necessary to provide backups and disaster recovery capacity. Once you have all of this information, you can make more educated decisions about the type and number of disks needed.
3. Plan for the future
Evaluating the data growth rate for your storage array can help you in storage capacity planning. Depending on the complexity of your storage environment, the frequency of these calculations can range from a monthly to annual basis.
Calculating your growth rate can be done through various ways. You can consult your log files or use software available on your EMC array in order to extrapolate future storage needs. In order to calculate growth rates quickly (albeit somewhat more pricey), you can use capacity planning software or specialized management.
4. Account for storage tiers
Since many organizations keep storage on different performance tiers, you should calculate and project growth for each storage class separately. Lower storage tiers may experience faster growth rates due to archiving practices or regulations that requires longer retention periods.
5. Account for changes in your infrastructure
Natural data growth calculations are important for capacity planning, but they are not completely inclusive of all factors that may affect data growth. Make sure to check with management or other team leads if there are any upcoming acquisitions or projects that may cause sudden surges in storage demand. Other factors that can contribute to non-natural data growth spikes include: new applications and implementation, addition of employees, and acquisitions of new business units.
6. Opportunities to save on EMC storage
Finding ways to reduce the cost of storage growth is a great way to help expand the capabilities of your storage environment by adding more storage or redirecting savings to other projects. Here are just a few ways you can reduce the cost of EMC storage:
• Evaluate performance needs: Make sure that your applications are sitting on disks that are properly suited for your data.
• Repurpose legacy equipment: Even if equipment is EOL and no longer supported through EMC, there are still other ways to utilize your legacy EMC equipment such as data archiving or a test/dev box. Third-party maintenance can help support this equipment even if it is EOL or EOSL.
• Consider used equipment: Used equipment from Reliant Technology can help reduce the cost of adding more storage space to accommodate growth. A used storage array from Reliant can save you as much as 30 – 70% off of what EMC may charge, thereby allowing you to buy larger systems or more capacity.
• Consider data deletion: Check to make sure you are not keeping unnecessary data on expensive storage systems.
7. Get ahead of your growth curve
Buying the bare minimum amount of storage to get by can leave you exposed if an unexpected event arises in your data center. Consider buying excess storage to avoid last minute storage addition issues. Additionally, consider signing up for Reliant Technology’s Planning Process, which is designed to help you get ahead of capacity, availability, performance, and savings opportunities.
If you need help planning out your capacity or just want more information, feel free to reach out to us via chat, email, or phone.