IT leaders are constantly under pressure to keep up with the flood of data needed to make strategic business decision while at the same time keeping costs down. How do you upgrade your infrastructure to the newest, high performance storage solutions, like flash, without breaking the bank?

Examining the overall economic impact of flash shows how it can reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for data storage. In our last blog, we busted the myth that flash storage is too expensive. Initial sticker shock over the high cost per gigabyte may cause you to hesitate before implementing flash. Looking beyond the price of acquisition to the long-term consequences of investing in flash storage tells a different story.

Calculating TCO for Storage

The initial investment in flash storage is only the beginning of the TCO story. According to Gartner, when taking into account the cost of operating the solution over time, additional costs that need to be factored in are management, maintenance, support, floor space, and energy consumption. Downtime and end user performance issues also have the potential to increase a company’s TCO.

The right storage solution can bring added value in the form of higher capacity and performance. Faster response times for end users and customers may result in increased profitability. Greater flexibility and scalability in a storage solution also lowers the TCO.

Calculating TCO requires looking beyond procurement costs to larger management issues, as well as how the technology solution improves overall business processes.

Reducing the Data Center Footprint

Once your business invests in flash storage, the economics of your data center begin to change. While the upfront capital expenditure per gigabyte may be larger, the operating expenses become more manageable.

Due to its small size, flash storage helps consolidate the data center. Fewer racks mean less energy and real estate is required for the data center. Flash storage also runs at lower temperatures, reducing cooling costs.

Storage That’s Built to Last

Maintenance costs typically make up a large part of a company’s storage operating costs. However, with flash storage, maintenance is minimal. Unlike spinning disk storage, flash storage has fewer moving parts because it is solid state. With less risk of a breakdown, flash storage transforms the life of a data center.

The lifespan of flash storage depends more on write operations, which can be controlled to extend the life of the array. Reducing the need to replace your storage helps to balance out the higher procurement cost.

Flash Storage Performance

Where flash really begins to show its value is in the area of high performance. As its name implies, flash is fast. Its read/write capabilities make flash cost-efficient from a transactional standpoint.

Flash also offers high IOPS rates for efficient transfer of date. Ultra-low latency allows for fast response times and higher application performance.

Reducing Management Needs with Flash Storage

Flash storage has begun to offer features that cut down on the need for management and administration support. Data management tools such as compression and replication are often a built-in feature of flash. These management tools make data easier to process and reduce capacity needs. Eliminating redundant information can also make processes like data tiering unnecessary.

The Big Picture of Flash Storage Economics

The long-term benefits of flash storage present a fuller picture of its TCO. Like any good investment, flash storage yields business value over time. Reduced operating expenses balance out a larger capital expense. Almost from the start, flash begins to cut down on operating expenses by helping to consolidate your data center.

You will continue to reap the benefits of flash storage as it takes over routine data management processes and contributes to the profitability of your business through higher performance.

Storage – Flash

Even as trends in storage turn towards software-defined storage, the myth that flash storage is expensive to implement persists. The myth that flash storage is costly comes from its traditionally higher cost per gigabyte compared to disk storage. Flash storage can be priced anywhere from $1 to 3 per gigabyte versus cents per gigabyte for spinning disk storage.

The myth that flash storage is prohibitively expensive doesn’t take into account the added value flash storage provides. IDC Research Director, Eric Burgener, said that “Vendors are aggressively flash-optimizing their offerings to provide improved performance, longer endurance, higher reliability, and a lower effective cost per gigabyte. The most successful vendors will be those that can make a smooth transition from the traditional, dedicated application model to mixed workload consolidation.”

The key phrase here is “lower effective cost.” Flash is cost effective because it provides additional, unique value.

If you’re not ready to go all-in with flash storage, a hybrid array presents a good alternative to an all-flash array. Flash can be used to handle higher performance workloads, while disk storage can be reserved for less critical tasks.

Looking more closely at the unique benefits of flash storage helps bust the myth that the expense may not be worth making the transition from disk.

Here are 5 myth-busting reasons why flash storage can be an economical option:

  • Longevity: Flash is durable, safe, and long-lasting because it is solid state. A lack of moving parts means there is less of a chance of a physical breakdown of parts. Initial costs add up to a smart long-term investment. Unlike disk storage, flash provides an escape from the hamster wheel of endless upgrades and refreshes.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consolidating storage with flash cures the ills of server sprawl. Flash packs power into a small package. Space-saving measures lower the costs of power, cooling, and rack space, reducing overall infrastructure costs. According to the Register, an initial investment in flash can potentially lower TCO over 5 years.
  • Speed: For database applications with lots of reads, flash provides optimum performance. The speed of flash reduces the cost per transaction by providing more transactions per second than disk. Greater storage capacity and performance allows your DevOps team to enhance their applications, furthering innovations that build your business.
  • Data Reduction: Flash enables data management services like compression and deduplication that reduce capacity needs. After data reduction, the cost per gigabyte of flash may fall to below that of disk storage. Preventative security measures, such as snapshots, encryption, and replication, save your business from costly data loss.
  • Profitability: Flash provides the level of performance needed to process the pools of unstructured data necessary for data analytics. The insights gained through analytics help your business improve productivity for increased profitability. Increasingly, companies are also moving towards cognitive business solutions that leverage data into insights about customer preferences. Data forecasting and real-time insights help you provide a personalized customer experience that keeps them coming back.

Clearly, calculating Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of flash can be complicated. For flash storage, hidden advantages in performance add up to overall cost savings and an appreciable Return on Investment (ROI). Yes, the price of flash storage is coming down, but more importantly, it provides considerable value as a storage solution.

Don’t Believe the Flash Storage Myth

The cost of procurement is only a small part of the flash storage. An investment in flash storage provides a long-lasting, high-capacity alternative to disk storage. High performance enables your company to take advantage of new profitable trends, such as big data analytics and cognitive business, to enhance application development and customer experience.

Find out more about Flash Vicom and schedule a storage assessment today.