Welcome to the first of the new series within the blog: Partners Take Note. The goal in launching this series of articles is to be reflective of industry trends and relate them to channel partners.
Three Storage Challenges for Data Center Managers in 2011 by Jim Jonez, Sr. Director of Marketing for Dot Hill Systems
As partners go into the New Year, it is important to understand what is top of mind with data center managers and what challenges they are facing in order to help offer the right solution within budget.
In his article, Jonez tops the list of challenges with cost reduction pointing out that even though IT departments are constrained, budgets aren’t increasing proportionally with the business need. However, cutting costs doesn’t mean that there won’t be any net new storage purchases. Jonez points out that data storage continues to grow at 40% to 60% per year, and that the challenge of cost reduction is amplified when trying to get the most from any new storage purchase. So how can partners sell more storage into these data centers concerned with cost reduction? One way is to focus on features within the storage solution that help provide cost reductions. Let’s use an example that hits close to home, the Drive Spin Down feature of the Dot Hill AssuredSAN storage array products. Did you know that it costs @ $40/year to operate one single disk drive? So if your customers have 200 disk drives in their storage datacenter, it is costing them on average $8,000 annually just to run their drives. By presenting a solution that incorporates automatic drive spin down, you can reduce an IT managers cost by 30%. Another way is to Go Green. Check out “green” features within storage solutions – many of which are considered “green” because they offer customers ways in which to save energy thus saving real dough. So get creative when you look at your customer’s business needs – and research those technical features within your vendors’ product portfolio to meet those needs with solutions that can provide cost reductions in their overall datacenter costs.
Jonez points out that a second challenge data center managers face is process improvement. While 2011 has the promise of a better economy, it will not be the year that the IT department will be doing much rip and replace. If it works, don’t touch it. If it doesn’t, offer solutions for your customers that improve their entire datacenter efforts. Well this fits nicely into Jonez’ third challenge as well in that data center managers are becoming more interested in unified management of storage where they can manage everything from one spot – simply. So let’s kill two challenges with one solution – storage management software. And not just any storage management software. Look for software that can not only manage legacy, heterogeneous storage, but also bring new features to old equipment like automated tiering, thin provisioning, and more. By bringing the old into the new, you can maximize the customer’s past investment, and also set them up for future infrastructure investments by bringing all of their storage under one management tool that can scale with them. If you don’t currently carry a vendor on your line card that offers such technology – check out the Dot Hill AssuredUVS product line.
Finally, let’s take a look at Jonez’ bottom line: “…any new product or system purchase should move toward lower costs, better processes and common management.” So make sure to emphasize how your solutions are able to address these challenges when you present to your customers. By doing so, it shows that you care about their business and reinforces why you have earned the “trusted advisor” status.
Do you agree? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.
Article Contributed By: Kara Montgomery, Channel Marketing Manager, Dot Hill