Why File Storage is Expensive and What to Do About It


When it comes to managing data storage costs, it’s brutal out there. Data growth is outpacing the ability of enterprise IT organizations to cost-effectively manage it and cloud storage isn’t the salve.

These recent stats highlight the pains:

  • More than 50% of enterprise IT organizations are managing at least 5 PB of data today and 73% are spending more than 30% of their IT budget on data storage, backups and disaster recovery. (Source: Komprise 2023 State of Unstructured Data Management. See chart below.)
  • By 2026, large enterprises will triple their unstructured data capacity stored as file or object storage on-premises, at the edge or in the public cloud, compared to 2022. (Source: Gartner 2022 MQ for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage)
  • 94% of IT leaders report their cloud storage costs are rising and 54% confirm their storage spend is growing faster than overall cloud costs: (Source: Virtana State of Hybrid Cloud Storage 2022)
  • Nearly 30% of cloud spend is wasted and this year, cost savings overtook security as the top enterprise cloud challenge. (Source: Flexera, 2023 State of the Cloud)

Current percentage of IT budget spent on data storage and protection.

The High Costs of File Storage

Most of the data enterprise organizations are generating and storing today is unstructured data – which is primarily file and object data. There are several ways to optimize file storage costs, using both tactics and tools. High file storage costs are pushing organizations to seek out lower cost places to store data, such as in the cloud. This recent article in Enterprise Storage Forum details cloud storage pricing among the top providers; pricing is competitive, but there are indeed differences that can impact your overall bill.

Book-MockupHowever, it’s not enough to move data and park it there for life. Innovation in cloud and storage technologies means that there are always going to be new, better and more affordable options for data storage. IT organizations need intelligence on their data and the means to manage data continuously over its lifetime.

Our new eBook, 8 Ways to Save on File Storage and Backup Costs, discusses the issues and provides advice on how to cut annual costs significantly while still modernizing your hybrid environment and meeting business and departmental needs for data access.

Here are the top reasons why file storage is so pricey:

  • Data hoarding: Enterprises often retain file data for decades because it contains useful information such as customer insights, potential research intelligence or machine learning training data which they may want to leverage later. Audits and compliance requirements, known and unknown, also support the long-term or never-ending storage of data. Yet we can’t keep all this data forever; most enterprise data is not in active use yet is typically stored on expensive storage units.
  • One-size-fits-all storage: Whether due to historical or cultural norms or lack of understanding of data assets and costs or both, organizations are too often storing all or most of their file data on expensive NAS technologies when most of it doesn’t need that level of performance and availability.
  • Lack of visibility: Without insight into data assets – how much data is in what storage, its rate of growth, types and sizes of files, top owners, data usage trends and so on – it’s difficult to make intelligent decisions about its management.
  • Storage is only 25% of file data costs: When looking at the file storage costs, consider that most of the expense lives outside of the primary storage. IT teams need to protect data with backups and replicate it for disaster recovery and that means multiple copies of data to store, manage and secure.

Deleting unused, zombie data is a first step to reducing storage waste and data storage costs, but there is so much more to consider when it comes to optimizing storage spend and delivering maximum unstructured data value.

Read the eBook to learn about 8 Ways to Save on File Storage and Backup Costs.

Komprise Intelligent Data Management delivers an analytics-first approach to file and object data management and mobility. Our SaaS solution first indexes all data across all storage to identify hot, warm and cold data and which departments or users are consuming the most space. You can see interactive ROI analysis of how much your organization can save based on different data management policies.

Get started with Komprise Analysis. Know First. Move Smart. Save More.


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