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Vol. 1 No. 9 November 2002

TCO analysis: does it work for storage?

What does a storage solution actually cost? Ask a vendor and they'll most likely answer your question with another question: How much do you want it to cost? It's a well-known fact that vendors, consultants, analysts and even CIOs themselves can manipulate the TCO analysis to make costly solutions look cheap, cheap solutions look costly and anything in-between depending on their particular agenda. As a result, Senior Analyst Tony Prigmore of the Enterprise Storage Group in Milford, MA, says, "TCO is bad. We assess models and by and large they are invalid. We haven't seen a consistent level of credibility in any vendor TCO model." His recommendation to clients: "Do not bother with a TCO analysis unless you control the assumptions and data behind the model." Manipulating TCO models TCO models offer ample places to build in bias. Acquisition price - the lower the price, the lower the TCO, but is this the price you actually get? System sizing - vendors can undersize the system to lower the acquisition price and resulting TCO. ...

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