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Taneja Blog / Systems and Technology

Beyond Storage Efficiency: NetApp Asks “How Fit is Your Data Center?”

Earlier this week, NetApp launched a new marketing campaign and micro-site under the “Efficient IT” banner. The goal is to up-level the storage efficiency discussion to the broader IT infrastructure. It makes good sense, given that storage is still a significant (and growing) cost element of total infrastructure spending—an element that’s been stubbornly difficult to rein in.

My fellow Taneja Group analyst, Jeff Boles, likes to say that when we look at the wave of consolidation and flexibility unleashed on the datacenter by widespread virtualization, all too often it looks like storage hasn’t come along for the ride. It’s true. Storage spending continues to rise, regardless of how thin or fast it becomes. So how do you convince CTOs that new storage technology actually pays off?

Resource efficiency has always been a tricky sales leader for any core infrastructure technology, because at the end of the day, if you build a better mousetrap, folks buy more mousetraps—then they turn around and ask why IT costs haven’t come down, as the vendor, er, suggested they might.

The challenge has always been to capture the elusive operations cost benefits and the impact of higher density, while trying to measure the individual efficiency benefits of each of a broad set of storage optimization features which differ wildly from vendor to vendor. Who has the time to realistically map out what they would have spent on fatter or slower storage? NetApp is wisely getting ahead of the question, offering up both metrics and methodology for realistic storage efficiency analysis.

VMware faced the same problem, and spent a lot of time building a solid efficiency case to put the cost of vSphere in perspective.  The VMware ROI TCO Calculator v2.0 makes it easy to run a quick analysis on a reasonable (and well-defended) set of metrics to build a better business case for virtualization. By all accounts, it’s been a very valuable tool for the company and both new and existing customers.

NetApp’s approach is impressively thorough. The campaign combines several ways to help customers make the Efficient IT case for themselves: an on-line efficiency evaluator (“fitness analyzer”), ROI calculator, and a collection of compelling success stories. Plus, I like the RFP Builder, a bold approach to shrinking the storage sales cycle even further.

Taneja Group is all over storage efficiency this year. Let us know what matters most to you when it comes to storage as well as end-to-end IT efficiency.

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  • Premiered: 03/31/11
  • Author: Taneja Group
Topic(s): NetApp Storage Vendors IT Efficiency Storage Efficiency Efficiency

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