The real cost of lying about IT infrastructure costs

Are you hiding the truth from management to justify the money you need to operate your infrastructure? That's a dangerous game

Become An Insider

Sign up now and get FREE access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more.

It's hard enough to build a solid primary storage strategy for a complex server environment, but that's nothing compared to the effort required to get your proposal through your organization's budgeting process. A refreshed storage architecture or a new backup infrastructure requires loads of capital, which generally means you have to get creative when you articulate requirements to management.

Yes, some sort of song and dance is almost always required. On the other hand, part of the problem is that we seldom do a good job educating management about how our systems live and breathe and what they actually cost to run. Obfuscation isn't in anyone's interest in the long run -- especially as the cloud matures and becomes a viable alternative to some segments of in-house infrastructure.

One reason this disconnect occurs is that management fails to grasp the relationship between the cost and criticality of a given application and its actual technical requirements -- storage or otherwise. Time and time again I have seen huge, massively expensive, mission-critical applications sit on equally huge and massively expensive storage infrastructures that are essentially idling under low load. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the data center, a collection of cheap tertiary applications are burning their storage resources to a crisp with loads many times that of the critical systems.

The reason this happens can usually be traced back to the budget process. When management is told that a mission-critical application will cost millions of dollars to acquire and implement, there's rarely much in the way of pushback over a beefy infrastructure to match. In fact, it's expected.

To continue reading this article register now