Taming Storage Costs — “Business Tiering” for the IRS

Cloud Computing2 minutes readDec 18th, 2012

Storage is the single largest information technology hardware purchase for federal data center operators today. Given the trajectory of data growth – 800% over the next 5 years, according to the Gartner Group – it’s no wonder that taming storage costs is a top priority.

The question is: how do you adequately address this need when federal data center managers have additional mandates from the Office of Management and Budget policy requiring steep budget reductions, data center consolidations, intra-agency resource sharing, moving to the cloud, and the shifting of storage expenses from fixed capital expenditures to variable operational expenses?

One creative solution is business tiering – the promoting and demoting of data based upon the importance of the data to the organization’s mission. This process allows for critical data prioritization decisions without the risk, added cost or historical time delays to position data in the appropriate storage class.

As an example, the IRS – Unisys’ latest data center customer – can ensure the right data sets be promoted directly to the fastest storage tiers during next year’s tax season. Less important data sets will be re-assigned to less expensive storage. This will improve performance when needed, drive down costs to taxpayers, and possibly enable tax returns to be provided earlier.

Empowering an agency to make data prioritization decisions is a fundamental shift in data center transformation.

The solution for the IRS also created an on-premise storage cloud that addressed all mandates and requirements. The 10-year contract to manage the agency’s mission critical data can also substantially reduce costs.

With an estimated data center storage hardware market size of $38.37 billion worldwide, and hardware spending to surpass $126.2 billion in 2015, both federal and commercial entities need a creative and cost effective approach to their growing data needs.