The data value conundrum

Aligning the cost of managing data with its business value is at the crux of initiatives like information life-cycle management (ILM) and tiered storage.

The idea is that some percentage of information is really important to the organization and demands a high level of availability and performance, whereas other data is less critical and does not demand the same level of protection.

The theory is that if we can just differentiate between the two, we could more cost-effectively provide the service each user needs.

Great idea; what's the catch? At an organizational level, the problem is that while IT infrastructure is under tremendous pressure to reduce costs, storage managers rarely have a clue about the value of data.

In effect, they control, or at least understand, the X axis on the charts but not the Y axis. Storage organizations are up to their ears provisioning, managing and protecting data, but they simply lack visibility concerning which data is high-value and which is low-value.

So, who possesses this critical piece of information? Answer: business and application owners. Do they typically share this information with the infrastructure folks? Not likely, unless there is a good reason. The challenge: providing them the reason.

This strikes at the heart of the business/IT alignment issue as it relates to storage. Bridging the alignment gap requires two key elements: developing shared incentives and establishing mutual trust among groups -- not an overnight activity.

So, how can you successfully establish a value-aligned tiered storage model? One important first step would be to ensure that cost is a shared goal of both business and IT by establishing some form of cost reporting (dare I say "chargeback"?). It is critical to promote a common awareness of storage costs and consumption across the organization. Without such a mechanism, it can be tough to get business units interested in your problem. After all, they have plenty of their own.

Jim Damoulakis is chief technology officer of GlassHouse Technologies, a provider of independent storage services. He can be reached at

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Damoulakis

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?