Reducing Storage Spend – The New Reason for a Storage Refresh

It is 2020, and although storage hardware and software have not changed very much in the last five years, customer expectations of the storage infrastructure are going through a dramatic change. These changes in attitude create a new reason for storage refreshes, the demand to save money. While other motivations for refreshing storage indeed remain, IT organizations are under immense pressure to shrink storage infrastructure spend dramatically. In fact, reducing storage spend is the best reason to refresh storage infrastructures.

In tomorrow’s live webinar, “Future Proof Your Storage – Eliminate Storage Refreshes,” I’m teaming up with the founder and former lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, and now StorONE’s CMO, George Crump to discuss all aspects of storage refreshes. During the webinar, we will pay extra attention to lowering the financial and administrative investment organizations are making in storage infrastructure.

The Reasons for Storage Refreshes

In the 2002-2009 era, lack of capacity was the primary reason most organizations upgraded their storage system. In the 2010-2019 period, the number one reason was performance. The lure of performance offered by all-flash and hybrid arrays was the motivation for IT professionals to replace their storage system. As I indicated above, the number one reason we see organizations refreshing storage in 2020 is to reduce the cost of storage infrastructure. The challenge is, while lowering storage spend is number one on the list, it usually is followed by improving performance, meeting storage capacity needs, and especially in the ERA of ransomware, protecting data.

Are you Refreshing Storage or Adding to Storage?

As most IT professionals are well aware, a storage refresh is not a small, simple project. It can take months of planning and can be very expensive. The investment in time and money means whatever storage solution the organization refreshes to, it must reduce cost and simplify management.

Meeting performance demands means using faster storage media and buying a storage system that can extract the maximum level of performance from that media. The problem is most storage systems developed in the last three to five years can’t come close to that requirement. We find that most storage systems deliver less than 20% of the per drive performance potential. Some of these systems try to compensate by using more powerful CPUs and more memory, but that adds to the price, and negates the first motivation, saving money. Other systems, remove features or add proprietary hardware acceleration, but this approach limits the usefulness of the solution. Instead of a storage refresh, the customer ends up with additional infrastructure.

Meeting capacity demands requires using higher capacity media. The good news is both flash drives and hard drive capacities are on the rise. Higher-capacity media though, means the rest of the storage system has to handle the additional data and do so affordably. In many cases, organizations that started with an all-flash array end up buying a unique archive storage system or high-capacity NAS, to which they copy older data to, often manually. Again, this is not a refresh but a new system, which adds to cost and complexity instead of reducing it.

Reducing complexity, the next motivation for a storage refresh requires simplifying the entire storage infrastructure. Adding new systems from different vendors with new interfaces can’t possibly lead to a more simple infrastructure. In essence, the only viable way to reduce complexity is to consolidate operations into fewer storage platforms, preferably one. The problem is most storage consolidation solutions require EXPENSIVE proprietary hardware and almost always lead to some form of compromise.

The newest motivation for a storage refresh, reducing storage costs, is the most difficult to tackle. How do you cut costs if you are buying more hardware? You can’t, at least not immediately.

We designed our S1 Enterprise Storage Platform to address these storage refresh challenges specifically. Instead of racing to market after a couple of years of development, we spent eight years developing our core code before initial release. S1 uses resources efficiently to extract maximum value and capabilities from them. We can run on existing server hardware with modest CPU and memory requirements while still delivering better performance than the alternatives. You don’t need to buy a brand new system to start using our software.

Finally, and most importantly, we can, with a single software interface, address all of the storage use cases high-performance, mainstream performance, backup storage, archive storage, and even cloud storage. We also support all storage protocols like fibre channel, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and Object so you can leverage your existing networking infrastructure.


As StorONE’s Product Manager, I spend a lot of time listening to customers and making sure we design in the features and capabilities they need to meet the demands of the organization. Sometimes, however, I need to make sure we design out the problems customers face in meeting the organization’s needs. One of the top challenges that IT professionals face is dealing with upgrades or replacement. All upgrades are not bad, especially if you only have to do it once. In fact, reducing storage spend is the best reason to refresh storage infrastructure. At StorONE, we’ve invested a lot of time and effort to make sure we’ve future-proofed our solution so that this will be the last refresh you ever have to do. Please join George and me tomorrow for our live webinar.

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Gal Turchinski

Prior to StorONE Gal was a storage and virtualization team leader in the largest datacenter in Israel, being responsible for petabytes of storage.

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