IDC Calculates the Total Cost of Managing the World’s Installed Base of External Storage

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – March 16, 2009 – While the economic crisis and increased focus on efficient storage has helped to decrease the worldwide power and cooling costs of external storage long-term, other costs related to external storage (beyond the acquisition of the storage itself) continue to cost more than the storage itself. IDC estimates the total annual cost to "manage" the world's installed base of external storage is about 60% of all enterprise storage-related spending, including software, power, cooling, administration personnel, and services.

"As the industry attempts to control IT costs, specifically related to storage, IDC realizes that power and cooling costs are not the only costs associated with external storage," said David Reinsel, group vice president for IDC Storage and Semiconductors research. "In fact, in the grand scheme of things, the cost to power and cool external storage pales in comparison with the cost to acquire and manage storage, including the costs for storage software and storage administrators."

In this light, IDC's study, The Economic Meltdown and Its Chilling Effect on the Cost to Power, Cool, and Manage Enterprise Storage (Doc #217158), expands IDC's cost analysis to calculate the total cost of managing the world's installed base of external storage. The study also updates IDC's enterprise storage power and cooling costs model in light of the economic crisis, and the change in assumptions around the adoption of more efficient storage technologies. IDC's assumption changes include the following:

* While interest around storage efficiency technologies (e.g., deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning) has intensified, impacting power and cooling costs in the longer term, penetration of these technologies is very low.

* 2.5in. capacity-optimized HDDs have a much greater impact on power and cooling than SSDs in this update. These drives were integrated in this model update.

* Higher-than-expected capacities from HDD manufacturers, as well as end-user adoption of these capacities, have had a tangible impact in this update, as well.

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