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VTA Cost Justification

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These work sheets help organize and quantify information pertinent to the cost justification of the Virtual Tape Appliance. Not every line item applies to every situation. Some of the less obvious items are discussed in more detail after the work sheets.

Existing Cost Reductions

Number and type of existing tape drives ____________ Annual maintenance cost_________
Estimated number of drives eliminated ____________ * Estimated savings _________
Number of tape operators ____________Annual Salary & Benefits_________
Estimated reduced number of operators ____________* Estimated savings _________
Current space for tape drives______ X Annual cost/sq. foot ________Total cost _________
Estimated sq. ft saved _________ X cost/sq foot ______* Estimated savings _________
Estimated power and A/C per tape drive_____________* Estimated savings _________
Current annual budget for tape cartridges____________ * Cost is eliminated _________
Estimated sq ft saved for storage of tapes____________ * Estimated savings _________
Annual cost of off site shipping/handling____________ * Estimated savings _________
Annual cost for off site vaulting____________ * Estimated savings _________
Reduced Reruns due to operator error   * Estimated savings _________
Elimination of duplicate backup tapes (local & off site)* Estimated savings _________
Total potential annual cost reduction  (Total of Starred items)_________

New Cost Additions
Base cost for VTA (includes 1 yr maint) ____________ Annual Maintenance _________
Projected useful life (In years) ____________ Total cost of VTA _________
Calculated Annual cost of the VTA (* Total cost divided by useful life) _________
Additional Open storage cost ____________Annual Maintenance _________
Projected useful life (in years, may be different)_________ Total cost of storage _________
Calculated Annual cost of storage (* Total cost divided by useful life) _________
Annual new transmission costs if any (*communication lines etc.) _________
New Annual Electronic vaulting costs if any (* new off site storage costs etc.) _________
Total new annual costs related to Virtual Tape Appliance(* Total starred Items) _________
Potential Annual Savings (Annual existing cost reductions - New annual costs) _________

Additional Productivity gains

Elimination of scheduling bottlenecks due to contention for available drives.

Additional throughput due to automation and elimination of rewind and tape mounts.

Totally automated remote operation capability

Additional explanatory information

Some items on the above work sheets are self explanatory. Other items may need additional explanation. In general, try to use reasonably accurate estimates wherever possible. In many cases the bottom line cost justification will be readily apparent, one way or the other.

One item which might need clarification is the annual budget for new tape cartridges. The assumption is that as the VTA is used more and more for new tape files, existing real tape cartridges will be made available to the scratch pool at a rate more than adequate to eliminate the need for new purchases.

Off site storage of backups

There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to backup and disaster recovery requirements. Each installation has its own unique requirements. For example, some small VSE mainframe shops may have evolved over the last several years to the point where their network storage facilities and backup systems are now more sophisticated and state of the art than the VSE mainframe. In many installations, the VSE system has remained stable, running legacy applications with little or no new applications growth. In many cases new VSE expenditures are not high on the list of priorities. For these shops, the VTA allows the VSE system to be backed up on network storage where it can the take advantage of whatever backup and disaster recovery is in place for the entire enterprise, possibly at no additional new cost.

For other installations, the VTA can be viewed as part of a new backup and disaster strategy which takes advantage of several ongoing economic and technical trends. For instance, operator costs continue to rise while new technology hardware costs continue to go down. Mailing and courier costs continue to rise while telephone and other communications costs decline. Recent events have brought security, disaster recovery, and business continuance issues to the forefront. These and other issues have caused most enterprises to review their DR strategies. The VTA may very well become an important ingredient in your installation’s DR recipe.

Another item possibly needing clarification is the elimination of duplicate backup tapes. Many shops create duplicate backup tapes, one copy for on site storage so files can be restored quickly if needed, while the second copy is used for off site storage in the event of a major disaster. The VTA addresses this need by allowing the virtual backup tapes to be compressed off line, and then be written to CD Rom, transmitted off site, or backed up to a network automatic tape library or to use whatever off site secondary storage solution is best for the enterprise.

Many data centers send their tapes to third party sites such as iron mountain for secure climate controlled tape vaulting. In the event of disaster, the tapes are then transported to the disaster recovery site. The VTA, along with modern high speed communications facilities, opens up many new options for off site vaulting. Many new Storage Service Providers are offering secure Internet or private line based off site storage for backup and disaster recovery. There are now many enterprise class data replication and mirroring solutions available for network based storage systems which are both economical and reliable. Whether your requirements include complete disaster planning or simply the cost reduction and efficiency benefits of virtual tape operation, the Virtual Tape Appliance is an economical yet powerful storage enhancement for the System 390 and z/series environment. If you need additional help in evaluating the VTA for your enterprise contact your USI representative.