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Exchange 2010 SAN Costs Are Significant

In December, we published a bulletin titled Cost of Exchange 2010 Storage Not An Issue. This said that storage is now so cheap that Exchange 2010 users needn't worry about storage costs.

We still subscribe largely to that view. However, it's not true for organizations that are committed to storage area networks (SANs). Here is a more detailed analysis.

SANs are used in many Exchange environments. They are expensive, however, so many Exchange users prefer to offload rarely accessed and archived material to less expensive storage.

For example, 18 terabytes (TB) of NetApp Fibre Channel SAN costs about $240,000 when switches, controllers, shelves, and software are included. After allowing for snapshots, this gives perhaps 12 TB of usable storage, which translates to $20 per gigabyte (GB). Most customers run Exchange 2010 in RAID 10, which doubles the cost. Furthermore, many customers have redundant sites to provide for better recoverability. So total SAN costs often reach an exorbitant $80 per GB.

With Exchange 2010, the archive is part of the main message store. Additionally, message stores now contain a lot of material formerly stored in Personal Storage Table (PST) files. If SANs are used, the cost of the additional storage is crippling: An extra 5 GB per user translates to $400 per user!

Exchange 2010 responds to the problem by supporting more modern, inexpensive storage. This also reduces message store I/O by some 90%, since Exchange 2003 provides for slower disk speeds. Modern non-SAN storage costs are about $0.30 per GB, including RAID 10 and redundant servers.

Microsoft hopes that the new drive technology will thus resolve the storage cost problem. It will be useful in many cases, but it is not a panacea. Many organizations have a sunk investment in SANs for a number of applications. These organizations will be resistant to using a separate set of technologies, with separate management tools, for the special case of email.

Thus, for Exchange users who have invested in SANs and are committed to the technology, storage cost is an issue for all versions of Exchange, including Exchange 2010. For SAN users, third-party archiving tools will continue to be an attractive way of allowing live mailboxes to live on SANs while archives reside on less expensive media. ... David Ferris, with particular thanks to Alan Elliot and Kevin Hood of Mirapoint, for educating me on the real costs


Determining Retention Policy for Electronic Documents
Vendor Sponsorship Opportunity

It is very difficult for an organization to determine its retention policy for electronic documents. This defers the purchase and implementation of archiving and related technologies.

To clear the logjam, Ferris Research is preparing a white paper and webcast on retention policy. We will give practical advice that concretely helps organizations determine the policies that are right for them.

Vendors are invited to sponsor the project. Sponsorship benefits include:

  • Builds name and brand. The report and webcast will be widely circulated. Sponsors' logos and support as sponsors are very visible in the report and webcast
  • Helps user organizations determine their retention policies. The report and webcast facilitate sales by helping to remove the policy formulation logjam
  • Provides valuable sales collateral: sponsors have distribution rights for the white paper and webcast
  • Reduces the time sales and support staff spend educating prospects on retention policy
  • Allows sponsors to provide input on the white paper and webcast
  • Builds a working relationship with Ferris Research

Further information is here. Sponsorship starts at $5,995.

To order your sponsorship, contact David Ferris at david.ferris@ferris.com or +1 415 367 3436.

About Ferris Research

Messaging. Collaboration. Compliance. Ferris Research analysts bring more experience in these areas than any other firm. Period.

Major areas of interest are email, spam and malware control, archiving, e-discovery, information leak prevention, unified communications, instant messaging, SharePoint, and mobile communications. We help:

  • IT staff evaluate, implement, and maintain these technologies
  • Vendors understand the marketplace and its technologies; explain their products or services to the marketplace; and find strategic partners, raise funds, or sell their company
  • Investors find and evaluate investment opportunities

We've been in business since 1990-longer than any other analyst firm in our field:

  • Clients include many of the world's largest organizations as well as computer vendors from major corporations to small startups.
  • We have published more than 200 formal reports and 1,100 short bulletins.
  • Our news service has approximately 10,000 readers and covers more than 2,000 highly specialized announcements annually.
  • Our research team shares many decades of experience in our core competencies.

In short, our technology and industry depth helps you understand today's products, where they've come from, where they're going, and their value.

Have news you want to share with us or product or interest area that you would like us to cover? Send press releases to releases@ferris.com.

Copyright © Ferris Research 2010.


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