The cost of IT data storage space is becoming a major problem for large government departments, chewing up ever increasing amounts of space and needing more power, cooling and scarce IT talent. Apart from the cost, growing political pressure on environmental issues means the rising power consumption and cooling load have become key issues.
Compliance regulations have mandated retention of more data, including email and SMS.
Industry sources estimate that data volumes for large organisations, including financial houses and telecommunications groups as well as public sector agencies, are doubling every two years.
On top of this, large public sector data banks are a prime target for cyber criminals. This means agency heads must not only find more cost-effective storage techniques, but need to tighten their security at the same time.
Data storage and IT security specialist Symantec launched a range of revised and updated software suites, with the sobriquet Storage United, at its Vision conference in Sydney. The software is designed to allow a plethora of different application systems and operating software to work together, reducing the problem of separate islands of IT applications.
"Storage utilisation is only 33 per cent on disk arrays," said Kris Hagerman, president of Symantec's Data Center Management Group. "It's pretty unequivocally a bad thing. Server utilisation is even worse than disks, at just 10 to 15 per cent."
Once the situation had been analysed, storage use improved and different operating platforms brought under common software management, data storage could then be treated as a costed service, to be provided to various sections of an organisation.
"We've introduced a return on investment program," said Mr Hagerman. "We can save a lot of money."
For organisations that spend millions a year on data storage, a 10 to 15 per cent saving in storage costs through better space usage can mean a big overall saving.
Australian Financial Review
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