Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How many terabytes do you manage?

December 1, 2009 – Forrester Research analyst Andrew Reichman recently wrote a report that provides a lot of advice on how to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the efficiency of your storage operations/personnel, noting that building an effective storage environment is a balancing act between performance, reliability and efficiency.

Cruise to How Efficient is Your Storage Environment to read the full report ($499), which was co-authored by Forrester analysts Stephanie Balaouras and Margaret Ryan, but one area of the report that jumped out at me was the section on the TB/FTE metric. (FTE stands for either full-time employee or full-time equivalent.)

Basically, TB/FTE is a measure of the quantity of primary storage per staff member. To get the number, you divide the total number of raw TBs by the total number of permanent, contract, and professional-services employees engaged in managing storage.

Forrester’s Reichman notes that “a few years ago the accepted best practice benchmark for TB/FTE hovered around 35 to 40, but since then most storage environments have grown significantly without adding staff.” Of course, that’s due partly to the IT mandate, or mantra, “to do more with less.” According to Reichman, the best practice benchmark for TB/FTE today is approximately 100.

Assuming that you calculate metrics such as TB/FTE (and I realize that most firms don’t), drop me an email at daves@pennwell.com and let me know what the TB/FTE metric is at your shop. Of course, I’ll keep the responses anonymous, but I’d like to get a feel for how many terabytes are actually under management per employee for a future post or article.


Chad said...

Hey Dave, how do I get remove from your companies "not spam" email list that I never signed up for? I've sent many requests over the last 6 months.


Thank you.

santosh said...

There are 3 classification L1,L2,L3 depending upon their skill sets, quality deliverable etc. Based on this can we say the thumb rule
L3> Upto 150 TB, L2> upto 100 TB L1> upto 75 TB. Also we have to take account into automated tools available in their present environment.

Island Mike said...

WoW!!!! I would love to have 1 FTE per 100TB. Right now I have 7 different arrays totaling 2.1PB of storage. This doesn't include my DAS storage. Lets not forget the 4 separate tape silo's I manage to backup this data! Good times.

Greg said...

Myself and one other team member manage about 1.3PB of storage in an environment that includes EMC (3 platforms), NetApp (35 heads), Cisco, Brocade and McData in nearly a dozen sites. We handle all work out to the hosts including multipathing config on them ( about 400 Win/Linux/Solaris). Our environment grows by about 50-75TB/month and there are no plans to add members to the team. Either we're horribly underpaid or the rest of the industry needs to catch up. :)