As part of the appraisal service, storage experts go into a company's datacentre, evaluate the storage infrastructure, offer recommendations and help plan an information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy.
ILM uses "intelligent" software to move data automatically onto the most appropriate storage platform, based on policies set by the storage network manager.
Iaigo Lopez, StorageTek's director of corporate strategy, cited one customer who used a more in-depth version of the appraisal service. The large UK retailer had 32Tbytes of storage but was only actively using 3Tbytes. 24Tbytes was used for copies of copies of data, said Lopez.
He added that by implementing virtualisation and archiving, the retailer will now not need to upgrade its storage for three years, which will save more than £1.7m.
Claus Egge, programme director European storage systems research at analyst company IDC, said, "Paying for engineers to come into your datacentre to review your storage network is likely to be money well spent." But he added, "Information lifecycle management is still out there on the horizon, not here or now."
Lopez said, "There are lots of point products from different suppliers, but not many easy-to-implement ILM-in-a-box solutions. Disc suppliers do not have the incentive to talk about true ILM because it cuts into their disc sales."
StorageTek rival EMC recently released several ILM products and said it would be building more ILM features into its products this year.
ILM promises to cut storage hardware costs significantly, but few organisations have implemented it yet, said Lopez. He added that businesses were vastly overspending on disc storage and needed to use their resources more efficiently.
"Disc suppliers have oversold and customers have overspent on primary disc storage. Information grows at a fast rate - 30% or 40% a year. Adding more discs is an easy solution, but expensive," he said.