Storage Price Check

It’s time for a storage price check and a sanity check. One of the most frustrating things about enterprise storage is trying to understand how much a system is going to cost you, and if the vendor is giving you a fair price. In most cases, getting a price is hard, getting a great price requires a very unpleasant negotiation process.

In my days as an analyst, I would avoid the pricing conversation, because it was so difficult to understand. Also, vendors are not exactly forthcoming on how much their solutions cost. If I did get pricing, the best I could get was a range, and it usually seemed very expensive to me.

The storage price check doesn’t look at current storage prices because vendors won’t share them. IT professionals almost universally agree that storage systems cost more than they should. As a result, the storage price check looks at what causes storage prices to be so high.

Storage Price Check – Lack of Transparency Increases Prices

It’s 2020, buying storage should not be a shell game. I don’t even have to buy a car that way anymore. Most businesses have eliminated price haggling and post their lowest price, so everyone knows they are getting a fair price. Why can’t storage be this way too?

The lack of publicly available pricing enables all vendors to charge more than they should for their solutions. The lack of transparency also doesn’t force efficiency. Haggling over pricing creates an unpleasant business environment. If the business relationship starts with an “us versus them” attitude, it’s hard to get everyone on the same page to solve problems.

The first step in reducing pricing is for vendors to publish their pricing. Transparent pricing is a practice that the cloud vendors have had in place for years. As a result, it is relatively easy to compare the price of storage between Google, Azure, and Amazon. On-premises storage systems can benefit from the same level of transparency.

As Gal Naor said in his recent blog, “What is TRUprice,” the first company to publish pricing online is StorONE. IT can leverage the StorONE TRUprice site to see the price of a complete storage system while creating the configuration. TRUprice shows you turnkey, enterprise storage pricing on a system that you configure.

Storage Price Check – Latest Generation Hardware Increase Prices

This time of year, vendors are announcing new solutions built on more powerful (and more expensive) hardware. These vendors claim a performance improvement, yet they’ve accomplished nothing. They just put their software on more powerful hardware. Vendors continue to hide their inefficiency problem behind faster hardware to meet the performance demands of their customers. The problem is that the customer never enjoys a price reduction. Instead, they have to keep upgrading to faster hardware to keep pace with their organization’s demands.

A benefit of new hardware solutions is that prior generation hardware solutions become less expensive. The customer only realizes the benefits of these price reductions if the vendor develops efficient storage software. Efficient software enables the customer to enjoy a price reduction by running on prior-generation hardware instead of having the vendor force them to buy more expensive next-generation hardware. While StorONE supports the latest storage hardware like Intel Optane and protocols like NVMe, you should only take that route if you can’t meet your performance demands with prior generation hardware like SAS.

Efficiency is the Key to Low Pricing

Last year’s storage hardware, if the storage software is efficient, has plenty of capability to drive more performance and support more capacity than most organizations need. Storage software should not require servers with dozens of cores and half a terabyte, or more, of memory. StorONE’s S1 is an enterprise storage platform, a software-based storage solution that requires only two CPUs and eight cores from its servers. It also requires only 128Gb of RAM. Despite these minimal hardware requirements and because of S1’s efficiency, it can still extract 85% of the raw performance of the drives installed inside the system.

Maximum Performance From Today’s Hardware

StorONE has SAS-based all-flash configurations that are approaching 1PB in capacity and delivering almost one million IOPS. For example, the cost of a 736TB system, that delivers 900K+ IOPS is less than $342,000. Don’t need quite that much performance or capacity? How about a 46TB system, delivering 200K IOPS system for $64,000? Both configurations are highly available and have three years of next business day support on hardware and software.

Storage Price Check – Efficiency Beats Price Drops

Another factor in the Storage Price Check is the impact of COVID-19. As we, hopefully, come out of worldwide stay-at-home orders and start economies back up, IT vendors are making aggressive offers on their solutions. IT must consider the long-term cost of these solutions. An aggressive upfront price doesn’t mean that the vendor will offer similar discounts in the future. The organization may find itself with a system they can’t afford to expand.

StorONE’s approach of creating a storage software solution that is efficient at its foundation enables them to beat the pricing of these temporary price cuts and provide a similar level of savings throughout the life cycle.

Conclusion

The time for enterprise storage pricing transparency is now. StorONE’s TRUprice is the first solution provided by an on-premises storage vendor to not only reveal turnkey storage pricing but also enable you to configure a system. TRUprice is the future of storage pricing. How will StorONE’s competitors respond?

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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2 comments on “Storage Price Check
  1. […] George Crump covered on a recent blog “Storage Price Check” there are many components within a storage infrastructure. Inefficient storage software […]

  2. […] An overachieving all-flash array armed with efficient storage software like StorONE’s S1 means that a twelve drive AFA can deliver more than 500k IOPS, and a 24 drive AFA can deliver almost 1 million IOPS. Again, these configurations use cost-effective midrange servers and only 128GBs of RAM. Thanks to the efficiency of the S1 Enterprise Storage Platform, solutions powered by StorONE deliver the lowest $ per IOPS and answer all the concerns of the storage price check. […]

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