Storage rage: Like getting a nice steak and being told to only eat 80% of it

Hey, vendors, slice a bit off the bill if I'm not supposed to use every byte


Storagebod Despite compression, dedupe and other ways people try to reduce and manage the amount of data that they store, it still seems that many storage infrastructure managers tend to waste many thousands of pounds just by using it according to the vendor’s best practice.

I spend a lot of my time with clustered file-systems of one type or another – from Stornext to GPFS to OneFS to various open-source systems. This is constant refrain that comes back from the vendors: "You don’t want your utilisation running too high...certainly no more than 80 per cent, or if you feeling really brave, 90 per cent."

But the thing about clustered file systems is that they tend to be really large. This means wasting 10 to 20 per cent of your capacity rapidly adds up to tens of thousands of pounds. This is already on top of the normal data-protection overheads...

Of course, I could look to use thin-provisioning but the way that we tend to use these large file systems does not it lend itself to it; dedupe and compression rarely help either.

So I sit there with storage which the vendor will advise me not to use. What do you think would happen if I were to suggest that the vendors didn’t charge me for that capacity? Or dropped the licensing costs for the capacity that they recommended I don’t use. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

So I suppose I’ll just have factor in that I am wasting 10 to 20 per cent of my storage budget on capacity that I shouldn’t use. Of course if I do use it, the first thing that the vendor will do if I raise a performance-related support call is to suggest that I either reduce the amount of data that I store or spend even more money with them.

I guess it would be nice to be actually able to use what I buy without worrying about degrading performance if I actually use it all.

Imagine your response if I were a restaurateur and I were to tell you: "Hey, 10 per cent of that nice bit of steak you’ve just bought... Don’t eat it, it’ll make you ill!" ®


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