If you’ve managed storage, you know that measuring costs in dollars per gigabyte ($/GB) only covers half of the equation. You need to consider additional cost drivers and dispel common myths about storage TCO (total cost of ownership) to make fully educated decisions and ensure ROI for your team.
Picking up from my previous discussion about Ducati motorcycles – sorry, I mean storage TCO – below is the truth behind two additional popular storage myths that find their way into TCO discussions.
Myth No. 4: $/GB is the best indicator of total storage costs.
Ducati owners are well versed in the idea of ongoing costs – depending on a bike’s model and year, its care and feeding costs can easily exceed the purchased price. Storage is a somewhat similar story. Buyers tend to get fixated on a low $/GB rate, but the real rate is typically much higher after all overheads are included.
For example, some storage solutions begin at a nominal rate of $0.10 per GB for raw storage. Storage capacity must be de-rated at least twice: once for array-based redundancy and high availability schemes (such as RAID), and once to accommodate the file system. Conservatively, these factors can drive a 30 percent overhead – meaning if you require 50 terabytes (TB) of usable storage space, you’ll need to purchase approximately 71.5TB of raw space. (Yes, vendors will tout deduplication and compression, but there is huge variance depending on data types and patterns.) White space aside for a moment, that $0.10 per GB is already looking closer to $0.13.
Then, factor in data center accommodation costs, such as space, power and cooling, and ongoing operational expenses can add another 35 percent to the initial raw costs. The resulting rate looks closer to $0.17 per GB, and I am not including the professional services associated with integration or data migration from the old to new arrays during inevitable (and dreaded) refresh cycles at the end of three to five years. Oh, and during that cycle, your company will likely to double its used space, networking ports, and running expenses.
Other challenges to the traditional storage array approach include the need to provision separate storage systems for data backup and replication, and optionally, a separate system for disaster recovery. Factor these systems into the equation and the final figure is a likely to multiply the starting $0.10 per GB.
The takeaway here: don’t get fixated on that $/GB rate – it’s hardly ever a reliable indicator of the real cost of storage ownership.
Myth No. 5: Enterprises can’t migrate to a managed storage service because of security concerns.
During a recent meeting with a Fortune 500 CISO, I highlighted our security solution, including data protection and access control mechanisms. At the end of the session, I asked if our capabilities met the company’s requirements and how the global storage network compared to the existing on-premises solution. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that our solution not only met the requirements for data confidentiality, it surpassed any protection mechanisms the team had implemented on the current in-house storage solution. After that session, security became a contributing factor for the migration away from the current solution.
ClearSky’s global storage network provides line-rate AES256 encryption for all incoming customer data with full customer control of security key generation and key-envelope management. The solution ensures data is encrypted throughout our caching and storage tiers. Furthermore, all customer data, including metadata (which describes the customer’s encrypted data blocks), are secured using transport layer encryption (TLS) when transmitted over our private hub and network between customer data centers, regional points of presence (PoPs) and the backing cloud.
To underscore the broader enterprise market’s changing perspective on cloud security, look no further than RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud report. It categorizes cloud adopters into beginners, explorers and experts, and cites security concerns as a decreasing challenge across all categories when compared to previous years’ reports. Security is ranked No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 on the list of challenges created by cloud-based solutions.
If a storage purchasing decision is in your future, I hope the information discussed in these two blogs provides some food for thought on how TCO is the overwhelming metric to consider when performing any meaningful solution comparison. Instead, rank solutions in terms of security, scale and overall TCO – and for those of you that appreciate two-wheeled activities like riding a Ducati, enjoy the remainder of the riding season and be safe out there.
Learn more about security in the global storage network.