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Technical Insight: Optimizing TCO for Data Protection Storage

Many IT enterprise administrators are transforming their data centers to a services delivery engine that can simultaneously support existing applications while delivering new mobile, social, and analytics applications. They are also finding that they may have to first increase spending on servers, networking and both high performance and long-term storage. As this occurs, many have decided to invest in “future forward” technologies rather than simply spend more money refreshing existing ones.

While evaluating forward-looking storage technologies such as all-flash arrays, object storage, and distributed storage platforms for primary storage, IT administrators should not overlook the secondary storage environment, and in particular, data protection storage as part of the evaluation process. Key considerations include:

  • New technologies are now being blended into data protection storage. How can they be leveraged?
  • What are the most cost effective data protection platforms for today and for the future as technology advances?
  • Is IT bound to repeat the same costly three- to four-year hardware refresh cycles of the past, or is there a better way to extend the useful life of the data protection infrastructure?

This paper reviews Cohesity’s DataPlatform in the context of two use cases. First we review the use of Cohesity as an efficient distributed storage platform to replace traditional target storage devices and media for backup and recovery operations. Second, we look at the use of Cohesity as an integrated, end-to-end data protection solution for backup, recovery, replication and cloud tiering use cases. Our research presented here in the form of total cost of ownership (TCO) models shows that enterprise storage administrators can reduce their overall cost for data protection target storage by 50% when using Cohesity’s DataPlatform to replace purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs). But more importantly, it shows that using Cohesity’s end-to-end solution that integrates backup and recovery software with the Cohesity DataPlatform can also reduce the initial first year TCO of a data protection environment—software included—by as much as 80%.

Our TCO modeling is presented using a 3-4-year time horizon as is typically done by IT administrators given the life of a storage platform before a technology refresh cycle is required. However, we note that Cohesity offers a long term data protection solution that can be scaled and upgraded in place without replacing the entire system. As a result, the Cohesity architecture can extend the time horizon used in typical TCO modelling exercises from 3-4 years to 7-10 years. Our long-term modelling includes a comparison with competing solutions that require platform replacement and data migration activities as part of the total cost of ownership vs. the Cohesity solution that does not. Doing so gives a more accurate picture of cost for long-term and sustainable data protection services delivery.

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July 19, 2016

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