Millions 'Wasted' on Storage Nets

UK consultancy unveils horror stories of companies making clueless investment decisions

July 28, 2001

2 Min Read
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Millions of dollars are being wasted by companies that buy storage technology they sometimes dont need -- and even forget they’ve got -- according to Source Consulting, an independent U.K. storage consultancy.

In business for two years, Source Consulting has a catalogue of horror stories of blue-chip companies that have poured money down the drain when investing in storage infrastructure.

“One company spent half a million pounds [US$700,000] on a storage system that wasn’t even being used,” says Jason Rabbetts, the consultancy’s co-founder and commercial director. The company bought a massive disk repository from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and then forgot about it. Each department assumed it was being used by other departments when in fact it was standing idle, says Rabbetts.

The reverse happened at another company known by Source Consulting. It lost close to $15,000 an hour when its systems went down for two days without sufficient backup, according to Rabbetts. The problem? “The company had 300 more servers than it thought it had."

The list of companies that don’t realize how much money they are wasting due to mismanagement of their storage “is endless,” he says.Rabbets and his partners, Matthew Wiltshire and Richard Russ, set up Source Consulting with a view to bringing relief to such companies. The trio hail from Ideal, a storage distribution company bought by Bell Microproducts last year. Source now has 40 on staff and expects to turnover £24 million ($34 million) next year.

Source wants to become Europe’s number one storage services business within three years. And at the rate it’s racking up big-name customers, this looks entirely possible. Bloomberg, Marks & Spencer, Jaguar, LIFFE (London International Financial Future Exchange), and Cantor Fitzgerald (a commodities broker) are on the books, as well as several big retail banks.

Source says it differs from the big IT consultancy companies such as KPMG or Arthur Andersen LLP because it’s devoted solely to storage.

“There’s so much confusion out there with smoke and mirror marketing by NAS and SAN vendors who deliberately blur the boundaries of what they can and cannot do, along with a general ignorance on the end-user side, it's a recipe for disaster,” rabbits Rabbetts. Source helps folk see the wood for the trees by auditing their storage infrastructure, he says.

Time will tell whether this outfit can match up against the major consulting firms but it seems to be getting to the source of the problem.[ed. note: Bugs Bunny is 61 years old today. Happy birthday, you wascally wabbit!]— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Want to know more? The big cheeses of the storage networking industry will be discussing this topic in a session at StorageNet, Byte and Switch’s annual conference, being held in New York City, October 2-5, 2001. Check it out at StorageNet2001

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