The ROI of an early Storage Refresh

When a storage system is purchased, the hope is that it will meet the storage performance and capacity demands of the data center for 3-5 years. Thanks to the changing compute environment and capabilities available from new storage systems, it may be well worth it for IT to reconsider those carefully laid out plans for equipment capitalization. It may save your organization money and you a lot of time by refreshing storage now instead of waiting.

The cost to operate a storage system, in terms of people and resources like electricity and data center floor space, typically becomes far greater than the initial purchase price. But new flash-enabled storage systems have the potential to dramatically decrease those ongoing costs. The ability of flash to reduce operational expenses can be so significant that the return on investment (ROI) can cover both the old system and the new system in less than the time originally allocated for just the old system (3-5 years).

Flash Enabled ROI

Much of the reason for this rapid ROI of a new system has to do with the unique capabilities of this solid-state storage. Flash allows for denser databases, denser virtual environments and more scalable file servers. This denser, more scalable reality means fewer physical hosts need to be purchased, hosts that come at a premium price compared to other single purpose servers. Fewer servers also means less floor space and less power consumption.

Data Efficiency Can Bring More than Price Parity

In addition, flash allows data efficiency features like deduplication and compression to run without any noticeable impact to users or applications. But data efficiency is often used in an attempt to bring the cost of flash closer to the cost of hard disk drives. More cost effective flash by itself does not necessarily justify the investment in a new storage system because it does not reduce the overall price per GB, it merely brings parity. However, if that data efficiency can be applied in a hybrid array, across that array’s flash and hard disk tiers, then it can significantly reduce the cost per GB of storing an organization’s data assets. This is because all the data being stored can be optimized, not just the data in flash.

Assuming the storage system delivers a conservative 5X efficiency ratio, this would mean that a 50TB primary storage tier could be reduced to 5TB total. If this level of efficiency can be realized, then the physical size of the storage system could be reduced from two entire racks to less than 1/3 of one rack. Other than the obvious reduction in data center floor space, smaller storage systems are easier to manage and cost less to power and cool.

Higher Performance means Easier Management

Finally, high performance storage systems often free up the IT team considerably. IT spends a lot of time tuning storage (and, arguing about tuning), so that it can deliver acceptable performance to the applications and virtual machines that run on it. And, since performance problems often appear suddenly, it’s usually a “drop everything else” event, which means that other important tasks get put on hold. A well designed flash array can eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the amount of tuning the IT team has to perform.

In our on demand webinar we will discuss how Hybrid Flash Arrays can deliver All-Flash Array performance and justify an early refresh. By signing up for this one event you will also be able to attend our other recent webinar on flash storage “All-Flash Data Center, Myth or Reality?“.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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