A study by the Enterprise Strategy Group revealed that most organizations under survey viewed cost as a major challenge in data storage. However, sometimes you might not really have a true picture of what the actual cost of a storage device is, until you critically analyze all aspects of such cost.
The most obvious cost you would encounter is the initial acquisition capital to purchase particular media. Unfortunately, focusing on this initial cost can make you oblivious to other operational costs that come with maintaining your choice media.
Obviously, a high capacity storage media such as the LTO 7 cartridge would certainly have a higher price tag than a lower capacity cartridge like the LTO 6, 5 or 4. If you just focus on this initial cost, you might fail to consider other costs that come with purchasing any of these options:
i. One thing you need to keep in mind is that your storage media would take up a certain extent of floor space within your storage room. Hence, this would mean that you would also have to invest in a good storage facility for the media you select. In this regard, the only way you can minimize on your investment on a storage facility would involve selection of a high capacity data storage media. In this way, you would use up less floor space for the same amount of data on lower capacity data storage media.
ii. In relation to the storage facility, there are several additional costs that would arise within such a setup. You might need to set up certain systems to safeguard the security of your data (this is especially so for highly sensitive data). High capacity media would require smaller storage facilities, which would certainly be cheaper for installation of security systems.
iii. The storage media would inevitably require power. Therefore, media that has been expertly designed to maximize on energy efficiency would be a good option, despite normally having a higher upfront cost.
iv. Cooling systems are necessary for large storage facilities, for optimum operation. This too would impact on running costs, but the cost would be minimized by having energy efficient storage media.
v. Maintenance issues are likely to arise, further adding to operational costs. You should note that cheap media are often of poor quality; hence, the money you save on upfront purchase costs would be easily lost through maintenance costs. High-quality devices may be more costly, but they certainly deliver maximum value in the long run. You are also less likely to face frequent and unexpected maintenance issues with such devices.
vi. If you’re running a large organization, you need to have a solid plan concerning the personnel tasked with the duty of maintaining your data storage system. This might mean hiring expert personnel who can competently handle the storage setup, especially if it involves big data, regulatory issues, and highly confidential information. Regular re-training might also be necessary, to keep everyone up-to-date with new trends in data storage issues.
As you can clearly see, all these additional aspects would impact on the operational cost, beyond any initial investment you make on your storage device.