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Storage

How to Build a TCO Business Case for Flash Storage

By Gil Rolon - Apr 14, 2016

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.