I have presented several blog entries on the topic of data protection costs. In a previous blog I suggest that we cannot afford to protect data at the rate that we are now accustomed to.

In another entry, I attempted to outline how data protection trends have given rise to over-protected or over-insured data.

Next, I outlined ways to help calculate the costs of protection, followed by a post on options to reduce data protection rates, and therefore data protection costs.

And finally, I wrote a post about how to address or quantify the risks associated with not protecting data. This is key if we are to measure the risks with the costs of protection.

A colleague sent me this article from The Register, and they support some of these same concepts. Data growth is exploding. Data protection is expensive. This is not just an indictment on backup costs, but on all forms of data protection that we currently use:

  • Clones
  • Copies
  • Snaps
  • Sync and Async replication
  • Tape backup, VTL, disk backups

Here is another good article with an IDC reference around the cost of protection.

Our first reaction to these kinds of statements is that we are afraid or unwilling to introduce more risk. Disk is cheap, right? Protection is cheap and easy, right? I do not want to be the storage manager or IT manager that has an un-recoverable issue on my watch.

The truth is the over-protection rate is unsustainable. Budgets are being cut, and efficiencies in the cloud and utility services are being explored to (in part) reduce overall IT costs. As it is still early in 2014, this is a good time to stop and measure the total capacity used for data protection. This capacity can be put into terms of total cost (roughly 4X the price you paid for it) that can help shed some light on what the total protection cost in storage is really like. These costs can be compared to the cost of risk, and the annualized loss expectancy (ALE) that your organization may have. Now is the best time to stop and look, and to make sure that your insurance protection costs are aligned with the business needs and IT economic requirements.


This blog article was written by David Merrill, ‎Hitachi Data Systems Chief Economist. This post was originally published at HDS Blogs: The Storage Economist