Although the cost of flash storage solutions continues to fall, on a per-gigabyte capacity basis, it is still significantly more expensive to acquire than traditional hard drives. However, when the cost per gigabyte is examined in terms of TCO, and the customer looks past the pure acquisition cost and accounts for “soft factors” such as prolonging the life of a data center, lower operating costs (for example, power and cooling), increased flexibility and scalability, or the service levels that a flash solution enables, flash solution costs become increasingly competitive with spinning media.
When evaluating the cost of flash technologies as a component of an enterprise storage environment, a longer term holistic view should be taken, one that focuses on the total cost of ownership (TCO) rather than exclusively on the hardware acquisition cost. This perspective enables customers to validate the value of flash products over the long term and can prove to have a markedly lower TCO when compared to an environment relying exclusively on spinning media.
This paper explores several of the total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits associated with flash storage compared to those of traditional hard disk storage environments. Experiences of customers with NetApp flash storage solutions demonstrate how deployment of flash storage can translate into a lower TCO than that provided by traditional hard disks.