The Cost of Data

About a month ago I posted some thoughts on the cost of data, actually more from an ecological view but did state the point that going green was great from a corporate and social responsibility view but actually was good common sense to reduce the cost of storage.

Today an article talks about the rising cost of data storage in terms of rack prices. It shows both the UK and Austria as the highest prices and talks of large price increases in other locations. An immediate thought would be how can this be, given the economic changes and reducing energy prices? What lies behind this is the increase in the amount of data being generated and then the associated energy required to store it.

Today it is estimated that the world is generating 40 exabytes of information a year – that’s a huge figure!  That’s more in one year than the last 5000 years. And at Google alone there are 2.9 billion searches a month of that data which does beg the question – who was asked the questions before Google existed?

So the cost of data center storage is going up because its in short supply and your new cost also includes the vendors building more facilities. I commented on the shortage earlier and the key is data management. In a SAP sense you need to think about your archiving and I know some will say its cheaper just to buy more disk, but ultimately this will lead to performance problems. The SAP archiving process doesn’t just parcel up data and remove it from the “live” database it also deletes data that is no longer valid such as idocs that have completed their tasks. The other issue that exists is the cost of keeping that data live – energy, space and performance trade offs. Some data has legislative requirements that it is kept, and you need to consider how in 10 years or so you can access that data so the storage mediums and methods need very careful consideration.

But the fact remains “dead” data should either be deleted or stored at lowest possible cost – don’t ignore it.

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