March Metric Madness: Fun with Simple Math

March 24, 2010 – 12:05 am

Its March and besides being spring in north America, it also means tournament season including the NCAA basket ball series among others known as March Madness.

Given the office pools and other forms of playing with numbers tied to the tournaments and real or virtual money, here is a quick timeout looking at some fun with math.

The fun is showing how simple math can be used to show relative growth for IT resources such as data storage. For example, say that you have 10Tbytes of storage or data and that it is growing at only 10 percent per year, in five years with simple math yields 14.6Tbytes.

Now lets assume growth rate is 50 percent per year and in the course of five years, instead of having 10Tbytes, that now jumps to 50.6Tbytes. If you have 100Tbytes today and at 50 percent growth rate, that would yield 506.3 Tbytes or about half of a petabyte in 5 years. If by chance you have say 1Pbyte or 1,000Tbytes today, at 25% year of year growth you would have 2.44Pbytes in 5 years.
Basic Storage Forecast
Figure 1 Fun with simple math and projected growth rates

Granted this is simple math showing basic examples however the point is that depending on your growth rate and amount of either current data or storage, you might be surprised at the forecast or projected needs in only five years.

In a nutshell, these are examples of very basic primitive capacity forecasts that would vary by other factors including if the data is 10Tbytes and your policies is for 25 percent free space, that would require even more storage than the base amount. Go with a different RAID level, some extra space for replication, snapshots, disk to disk backups and replication not to mention test development and those numbers go up even higher.

Sure those amounts can be offset with thin provisioning, dedupe, archiving, compression and other forms of data footprint reduction, however the point here is to realize how simple math can portray a very basic forecast and picture of growth.

Read more about performance and capacity in Chapter 10 – Performance and capacity planning for storage networks – Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) as well as at (Computer Measurement Group)..

And that is all I have to say about this for now, enjoy March madness and fun with numbers.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
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