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Provisioning a storage system requires balancing the costs of the solution with the benefits that the solution will provide. Previous provisioning approaches have started with a fixed set of requirements and the goal of automatically finding minimum cost solutions to meet them. Such approaches neglect the cost-benefit analysis of the purchasing decision. Purchasing a storage system involves an extensive set of trade-offs between metrics such as purchase cost, performance, reliability, availability, power, etc. Increases in one metric have consequences for others, and failing to account for these trade-offs can lead to a poor return on the storage investment.
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