How do I figure the real cost of a SAN or NAS solution?
Regarding pricing for SANs and NAS in general, what is the cost/MB for arrays shipped with basic software that comes with the equipment? In other words, what is the cost range for SAN and NAS equipment?
Chris Poelker responded:The cost depends on the software that comes with the solution and other things like services, ongoing support, maintenance, SAN extender equipment, etc. The price can be as low as .05 cents a meg or as high as .50 cents a meg depending on what you are doing. Let's say you are a mainframe shop and not only want the storage but you want professional services to size a replication solution for DR. You also want to procure leased lines for data replication and want to use DWDM gear or say CNT extenders to tie the SAN islands together. You also would then want backup taken care of including the tape drives, tapes and connections and, you would want the switches and cables to hook everything up. Next, comes the firmware options in the storage arrays (one would be at each site) to do snapshots and data replication. Tie all this together with services and data migration from your existing environment and the cost will obviously be higher than the going Gartner rate. Folks need to keep in mind that most SAN solutions are built to solve real business problems and NOT just for disk space. Current ATA-based drives can ship at a penny per meg. That's fine for the hardware but you also need to consider the cost of maintenance, services and software license costs. Some companies also charge to make changes to the environment once it's installed. Take a look at power consumption, cooling requirements, floor space required, etc. to get an idea of the real cost of a total solution.
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This was first published in August 2003