Rod Lucero, chief architect for IT at $2.2 billion manufactured-housing lender Conseco Finance Corp., was only looking for a new way to back up his data as part of his disaster recovery planning when he decided to buy SANsymphony storage management software. But he says he has gotten a lot more than that from the technology offered by Fort Lauderdale-based DataCore Software Corp. Essentially, he upped the utilization rate on his storage from 50% to more than 80%, eliminated two staff positions and saved the company at the very least $136,000 from reclaimed storage. The ability to pool his storage was "a huge, huge benefit," Lucero says. And he hasn't even been using the software a full year yet.

Data storage is so relatively inexpensive–and gets cheaper with each year–that companies tend to accumulate more and more without ever reviewing what they already are supporting. Technology experts have one piece of advice: There is an alternative to shelling out for more storage. Just ask Lucero.

Storage management solutions, like SANsymphony, help companies through a technology called virtualization. This allows companies to see all the storage available on different servers and then permits data to be moved easily from one part of the common storage pool to another.

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