Support staff per terabyte

5 pts.
I've seen documentation on how many servers a full time employee can effectively manage but I haven't seen how many TB of data an employee can effectively manage. Has anyone seen any publications that have an article such as this? If so, will you send me a link?

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I’ve never heard of such… One of the premises of managing (any thing) is a maximum number of objects. A manager of some things can only manage around 7 things typically (this number can vary by context). That would be 7 servers, 7 customers, 7 staff, 7 whatever. I’ve seen restrictions on user storage space, and how much data a server (router,etc.) had manage (storage, throughput). But not seen spec on how MUCH data a person can manage. Maybe consider arranging data by department, topic, building, etc. as appropriate. This is, however, an interesting question; I’ll try to monitor other ideas submitted.

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  • Klewis
    Perhaps a better approach would be, "how many unique storage subsystems can an administrator manage?" I've produced these reports for my management for years. In my environment, I can break down how long it takes to accomplish a task - configuring a LUN, provisioning the LUN to a host, formatting the LUN, recording change documentation, etc. Based on the time required for the task, I can extrapolate how many tasks can be performed in a day, then apply it to the number of servers or the number of storage subsystems in my environment. The end result is - how many subsystems can be managed at a given staffing level. It may be a 100% fit for you, but it fits nicely with our record keeping systems.
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  • Mistoffeles
    Essentially, the raw amount of data is irrelevant, as it all depends on so many variables from the number of servers and users through the type of data being stored and what tracking/access management is required to the throughput of the business systems in place, and is affected as vschlenk noted by the tools you choose to apply to management. An in-depth analysis of all these factors (how in-depth is a complex issue in and of itself) is the only way you will be able to determine the answer to your question, and don't forget that planning for future needs is as critical, if not more so, than for current. To illustrate this variance, simply consider the following example: A single server can easily hold several TB of data, but likewise a few TB can be spread over a dozen servers. One server can often be managed by a single employee, but a dozen may not be so easy.
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