Enterprises use 10-Plus Storage Systems – but is that a Problem?

Multiple Vendor Logos One Datacenter

Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A recent report by data virtualization software vendor Primary Data suggests that over half of businesses rely on ten different platforms for their storage. Around 33% of businesses surveyed were using more than 20 types of storage.

The report writers concluded that this diversity of platforms must be a source of constant headaches for the CTO.

The industry moves towards consolidated systems

Realising that consolidated systems could be beneficial to their customers, OEMs have been producing integrated, modular storage units for some time. EMC’s Vblock packages promise to standardize storage, networking and management software for clients.

And, on paper at least, the EMC Vblock approach makes perfect sense – for any business able to replace their existing storage wholesale.

Consolidation might limit flexibility

What the Primary Data conclusions fail to take into account is that some organizations actively choose to use multiple storage platforms. The original design ideal of a homogenized single-vendor infrastructure, is increasingly unrealistic.

Not only is this approach unnecessarily expensive, but when business success is directly affected by speed and flexibility of computing resources, businesses need to be able to choose the best-of-breed platforms that best suit their needs. Even if they come from a range of different OEMs.

When these benefits are considered across the whole organization, it is highly likely that they outweigh the inconvenience and administrative overheads of choosing a multi-vendor environment. So it could be that consolidation is the wrong choice for many organizations.

Leaving the future open

To help reduce the burden, organizations should seriously consider the use of a vendor agnostic third party support and maintenance provider to cover all of their systems. So whether they have five, ten, or twenty different storage platforms in use, they can greatly reduce the complexity of their support contracts.

Reducing the number of support providers required will also help to reduce costs – first in the headline price associated with the contract, followed by further savings available by exiting the OEM’s defined upgrade cycle. This then allows businesses to extend the lifespan of their storage hardware from a further three to five years, reducing TCO and boosting ROI. 

So regardless of the Primary Data findings, it may be that a multi-vendor storage environment is actually a very good thing. Especially if businesses can partner with a third party support provider who can help consolidate their support provisions, rather than the storage itself. 

Which is where CDS can help. Give our team a call today and we’ll show you how we can reduce the complexity of managing your multi-vendor storage environment – and the costs too.