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Government departments spend £236,000 a year on storage

Freedom of Information request reveals annual storage costs of 44 local and central government bodies.

Graph analysis

Government departments spend an average of 236,000 each year on premium storage brands, according to the findings of a newly published Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request.

The request was made by open storage provider Nexenta Systems, and 44 out of 48 local and central government departments responded to it.

The results revealed these departments buy at least 101 TB of storage every year from big-name brands, such as IBM, NetApp, HDS and EMC.

It is incredible to think just how much of British taxpayers' money is being wasted on expensive storage solutions.

Typically, each terabyte costs them around 2,000, although some departments are spending as much as 5,000, the request showed.

The Government has endeavoured in the past few years to cut costs and create balance between open source and proprietary software vendors with varying results.

Evan Powell, the chief executive of Nexenta, said the public sector needed to radically rethink its storage buying strategy in light of continuing economic uncertainty.

"It is incredible to think just how much of British taxpayers' money is being wasted on expensive storage solutions due to a combination of vendor lock-in and general apathy," said Powell.

Powell said the government was unwilling to promote open storage because of "confusion, apathy and fear."

He also claimed that organisations, such as the US Army, Cisco, Korea Telecom and VMware had already embraced open source storage, netting them millions of dollars in savings.

Ryan Tyler, technical sales manager at storage provider VA Technologies, backed Powell's view.

"The public sector urgently needs help from IT partners who have the necessary skills and tools with open source storage to make the transition [from proprietary to open storage] as soon as possible," he said.

"The rapidly growing cost of maintaining and expanding on their legacy storage systems is proving too expensive, a fact that the government needs to quickly wake up to."

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