You don’t buy too much of anything, whether it is backup capacity or toilet tissue, when you know that the price is going to be falling in the future.

[This is the fourth excerpt from my How to Sell Backup to Your CFO whitepaper. Download the full whitepaper for instant gratification.]

Optimizing capex (capital expenditure) is the foundation of optimizing for productivity. With the advent and growing penetration of commodity x86-based virtualization, there has been a strong focus within IT with respect to decreasing capex over the last few years.

There are several ways that IT leaders can convince CFOs that they are focused on optimizing capital expenditure. One way is to not buy more backup capacity than is needed. In other words, don’t buy ahead of your backup capacity needs. Select a backup technology that is inherently scalable such that multiple backup systems can be monitored and managed via a single pane of glass. If you don’t do this, then what you end up doing is spending a lot of money on backup capacity – either using dedicated deduplication devices or by buying raw storage – and the facts are that storage pricing has been and is continuing to demonstrate a rapidly decreasing price per effective terabyte.

This is really just common sense. You don’t buy too much of anything, whether it is backup capacity or toilet tissue, when you know that the price is going to be falling in the future.

Focus on your overall backup spending in terms of your spend on a per terabyte basis. There’s a lot of different deduplication technologies out there. You should make sure that you’re not spending more than necessary on a per terabyte basis for deduplication, unless there’s simply no other way to achieve your retention needs.

Another way to optimize capital expenditure is to make sure that you keep your primary storage spending as lean as possible. This doesn’t mean not to buy centralized storage, such as NAS or SAN, but it does mean that you don’t want to rely only upon centralized storage as your only storage vehicles. While techniques such as snapshots can be used very effectively to optimize your data protection strategy, don’t lock into expensive solutions such as SAN replication that require a doubling (or more) of your storage budget without giving you the type of data protection flexibility you’ll need.

In my next posting, I’ll focus on how you can show your CFO that you’re optimizing operational expenditure with respect to data protection. Don’t feel like waiting? Download my How to Sell Backup to Your CFO whitepaper now!