What are the key steps in designing and purchasing a shared storage subsystem?

What are the key steps in designing and purchasing a shared storage subsystem? We're a small organisation and we hold our data in DAS and some old NAS boxes and we need to buy an up-to-date storage infrastructure to cope with several terabytes of unstructured and database information. I've never been through the process of procuring a storage system as such.
  • Map out your existing infrastructure, detailing servers, OSs, applications, amount of storage, physical location etc.
  • Itemise your aims for the project. These could include: improved performance; centralisation; supportability; reliability; reduced cost, and; disaster recovery. For example, improved data access performance may not be an issue, but providing improved reliability may be.
  • Identify your budget and if necessary generate a board proposal for sign-off on the project.
  • Do some research on potential suppliers.
  • Contact sales teams of five prospects and ask them to submit a proposal based on your criteria. Use vendor sales resources well – they'll do a lot of leg work for you.
  • Never accept the first or second quotes.
  • Try and find out when the potential suppliers year-ends occur. You'll find they are much sharper with the price at quarter end/year end.
  • Consider setting performance criteria on your purchase with a sale or return clause in the contract.
  • Get suppliers to put you in touch with similar-sized organisations using the same kit, especially if you use bespoke software.
See another user expert's response to the same question here.
This was last published in December 2009



Enjoy the benefits of CW+ membership, learn more and join.

Read more on IT strategy



Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: