People generally like Nimble Storage…they really do. They see the WebEx presentation and they’re immediately sold on the hybrid flash solution and its architecture.
But let’s be honest: Nimble Storage isn’t the cheapest solution out there. For many years now, I.T. professionals have become used to quantifying their need for purchasing storage through a “Cost per TB” model. Well, this is a very good model to use for SANs utilizing hard disk drives (HDD). But when it comes to SSD or flash-based systems (or even for hybrid systems, for that matter), this changes the paradigm of how to quantify (and justify) the cost of a flash-based or hybrid system altogether.
So, if you’re an I.T. professional who handles or oversees the storage portion of your network, it might prove productive to ask these questions (based on some questions posed by a storage colleague of mine) as you plan out your storage strategy:
Storage Administrator / IT Administrator / Network Administrator
- Where are you seeing storage latency within your network?
- Is this latency impacting the performance of some of your more data-intensive applications (VDI, SQL, Exchange, Oracle, etc.)?
- What is the current IOPS limit of your SAN?
- If your SAN cannot meet your needed IOPS limit needed for these applications, where do you need it to be in order to meet demand?
- How often are you having to troubleshoot these applications because of low IOPS performance?
C-Level Manager / Administrator / Network Manager
- Think Business Case and ROI (of course, you already know this…)
- Speed isn’t always important, but for certain applications it does – where are these areas you feel the need for speed?
- Would revenue increase if you were to increase this speed in your storage network?
- If your environment measures transactions, how would revenue be impacted if you were able to increase the amount of transactions by 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, etc…?
Director / VP / CIO / CTO
- You have a fixed budget amount for storage each year: What if you could upgrade the performance of your database applications (Oracle, DB2, Exchange, SQL) with just the budget you have?
- Have you considered the benefits and tax advantages of leasing / financing new storage purchases?
The bottom-line is that organizations need to think of flash and hybrid storage systems as solutions that will help increase the performance of their network and applications which, in turn, will increase the profitability of your organization. Move away from that “Cost per TB” model. That doesn’t work for SSD and flash. Nimble pricing might seem a bit expensive at first, but after you build that business case you’ll never go back to the “Cost per TB” model again.
We are also seeing a trend toward “service level pricing” for many of the large storage vendors; pay for what you use. More on that later.