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Look beyond price per gigabyte when evaluating all-flash arrays

How much more expensive are all-flash arrays than hard disks? And is there a better metric than just price per gigabyte for comparison?

Yes, I've spent a lot of time with our IT clients talking about this. Basically, if you're measuring it on price...

per gigabyte, you probably don't understand the value that these all-flash arrays really provide.

All-flash arrays make more out of your other investments, certainly out of your processors, out of your network, out of your applications. They free up a lot of time spent waiting for the storage system to really exploit the value of the investment in those other areas.

So, we try to talk to people asking, What's the net effect of this?

A lot of people are measuring that by doing proofs of concept and then buying based on that. That is much easier than trying to make a decision based on price per gigabyte. So, we try to help coach clients into using something like a TCO calculation over time to show the overall effect on their operations. If you look beyond dollar per gigabyte, the economics are in favor of all-flash arrays.

But that requires a little more thinking. And unfortunately, some of the people inside IT also have to do a little bit of upselling to explain why we can't look at this as a dollar-per-gigabyte pricing.

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This was last published in January 2015

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Usually, when people evaluate flash, they look more at $ per IOPs than $ per GB. Both should be considered, but the real analysis involves how will your specific application workloads run on flash or hybrid systems and what is the optimal configuration for your unique needs. This is where tools like Load DynamiX make sense. They can simulate your production workloads and empower you to make the most cost-effective deployment decisions.
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