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HyperScale Economics

HyperScale Economics


At the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Management Summit held in June 2011, Gartner analysts discussed the growing storage challenges facing the enterprise. One of the metrics provided by Gartner was the estimate that “total lifecycle management costs for data ranges from $0.75 to $1 per GB per month for on-premise enterprise storage environments, with world class on-premise enterprise storage costs being about $0.33 per GB per month”.


A simple illustration can help clarify the tremendous cost advantages of HyperScale technologies versus traditional enterprise storage technologies. The table to the right provides a, hypothetical example of the Air Force ISR data ingest volumes over the next 10 years (this analysis was originally completed in late 2011). The model is built on the operational assumptions that the data ingest will grow rapidly over the next 5 years due to more Remotely Piloted Airframes (RPAs) with longer persistence, carrying multiple sensors; including the new gigapixel class sensor. The model also assumes that next generation, low-loss compression algorithms will become a priority and find its way into operation around 2016. However, in parallel, sensor manufacturers will continue to innovate, creating higher resolution solutions, which will result in a sort of “tug-of-war” in the later years – 2017 to 2020 – of capturing more data but fielding better tools to reduce the size of the data that is stored. Finally, the model assumes that Air Force can achieve operational improvements each year reducing the cost per GB per month by 10%.


This is an illustrative model and can be updated to reflect different operational assumptions. But the end result will be the same. When graphing the annual lifecycle data management costs using the Gartner enterprise cost estimates and the public storage cloud economics. The impact can be summed up in the following statement, “Small cost difference per GB results in a huge difference cost differential at HyperScale.”


The model demonstrates that if the Air Force were to stay with current, traditional, POSIX storage architectures then the cost of only storing the data over the next 10 years will cost an additional $10+ billion.  This does not include the cost of any analytics but simply the cost of storing the objects.