Can Thin Provisioning Save Organizational Storage Expenses?

By CIOReview | Thursday, October 13, 2016
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In the growing digital world, nearly all of the IT professionals face problems with unpredictable growth of storage requirements. After years of research, Thin Provisioning made a turning point as an innovative solution to head off unchecked growth of files after extended usage. In the IT prospective, Thin Provisioning allocates unused storage by consuming only the essential physical storage, offering time to backfill storage capacity prior to the requirements. Thin Provisioning also carries virtualization to an evolutionary level by relating space distribution and data write activities, adding up the benefits for users.

The profound benefits of Thin Provisioning are making the technology highly popular with about 62 percent of companies adopting it and a growing number who want to tap into its potential.

Scope of the Solution

When the application components delete and update system data without notifying the storage array, the unused sectors keeps trapped within the volume – leaving pockets of memory strands. This is where Thin Provisioning acts as the savior by releasing the memory pockets for reuse and keeping the system memory thin over time. The technology not only avoids memory pocket formations but also makes storage reservations resulting in a thin storage environment with predictable requirements.

Adopting Thin Provisioning has several technological benefits for an organization including increase in productivity, accuracy, cost savings, and user satisfaction. Unlike the past, more and more vendors are moving into Thin Provisioning as part of the technological evolution. Even if Thin Provisioning is slightly above the IT budget, ROI in the long run will be in favor of the management and that is the real reason for the fast and steady growth of Thin Provisioning today.

With the introduction of cloud and virtual environments in organizations, efficient data storage and cost effective management was a burning question in front of the CIOs. Thin Provisioning made its benchmark in such environments as well, by allowing storage environments to stay thin and efficient via volume initialization and virtualization platform support.

Choosing a Solution

Since there are several vendors and numerous solutions today, choosing the precise solution can be a tough task, but selecting the right vendor depending on the organizational environment is significant. Identify and analyze your storage environment and select the vendor that can satisfy the organizational requirements at a cheaper rate. Determining the organizations storage size and verifying with the data reduction claims offered by the vendors can provide a better clarity of the accurate solution. A market study based on the organizations requirements and comparison with identical solutions can be effective in reducing the overall expenses. In addition, understand the future results of undersized storage purchases to predict the worst case scenario.

Thin Provisioning Saves Storage Expenses

The overall storage savings while implementing Thin Provisioning ultimately depends on the organizations storage deployment configurations. For a data centre configured with Thick Provisioning, the capacity efficiency graph will show visible improvements within limited time periods. While in the case of a dedicated Thin Provisioned storage environment, the migration will free up unused memory trapped in the volumes, reducing the overall storage capacity for usable data. Taking a look at previously Thin Provisioned storage system, opting for a thin-to-thin configuration can make savings while implementing a solution but will be of less capacity gains. Under such situations, the overall design and configurations also plays a vital role in both memory and financial savings. Be careful about the design, as any design faults or a miss-configuration of the storage system can lead to insufficient capacity or over expenses while implementing the solution.

Thin Provisioning was developed to manage the data efficiently in storage systems by allocating unused storage by means of consuming only the essential physical storage. The technology not only made its benchmark among IT professionals by solving unpredictable storage requirements but also reduced overall organizational expenses for storage systems. Well-organized implementation and a professional market study including Thin Provisioning product comparisons depending on the organizational requirements can save overall storage expenses with a notable ROI in the long run.