When it comes to mass storage TCO, SUSE shows Red Hat the red card

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IT pros have long known that the upfront cost of storage systems can bear little relation to the total cost of running them over an extended period, and that an attractive entry price is all too often something of a ‘Trojan Horse’ sell – at first glance it looks like a gift. . . . but when it gets behind the walls of the enterprise a string of costs appear over time which more than take the shine off the attractive starting point.

Its not easy, however, to do the maths, as there are a string of complex variables to calculate: there’s cost of installation, software licenses, ongoing service and support, staff training, and of course the inevitable cost of adding in additional capacity as volumes grow. On top of this, storage admins must also consider the required feature set to get the ‘Goldilocks’ solution that is just right – avoiding paying for capability that is not needed whilst making sure you aren’t locked into an approach that won’t meet requirements in the future. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, some of the buying calculation isn’t completely completely rational – as the old saw ‘no-one ever got fired for buying IBM’ demonstrates – many like the comfort of paying a ‘brand tax’ for a system from a big name in the full knowledge that actually it doesn’t offer value for money, but it’s a damn sight easier to justify should something go wrong – and after all, what storage admin hasn’t dealt with a failure?

At SUSE, our approach is all about delivering the lowest cost mass storage in the marketplace: outstanding value for money, the ‘goldilocks’ feature set that deliverers limitless scalability for unified file, block and object storage, works on industry standard x86 commodity hardware, is cost-effective to support (particularly when you get the support from us) and provides the best value for money over time.

It’s a bold claim, and as we know not everyone has the time or inclination to do the complicated maths, we asked the team at IT Brand Pulse to run a detailed comparison for online storage of ‘large data’ (e.g. e-mail messages, word processing documents, videos, photos, audio, web pages, weather/auto/seismic sensor data, and streaming satellite data). Typical use cases include backup, archive, and replication for disaster recovery. IT Brand Pulse compared eight offerings, four software defined and four ‘traditional’ against the following variables and criteria:

  • A five year time period
  • 250TB starting point with 25% annual volume growth
  • Recurring licensing fees
  • Hardware product cost
  • Annual service and support fees

The five year time period and the defined volume requirement allows the true cost of ownership to emerge: as volumes inevitably grow, how much does it really cost to add additional capacity? Because the manufactures rate card price and a negotiated closed deal are often on different planets, IT Brand Pulse issued an RFQ (Request for Quote) to competing solution providers to get a ‘real’ position.

The findings make interesting reading for enterprises on the search for value for money and best in class capabilities – including some pretty rude surprises. IT Brand Pulse contrasted SUSE SES 4.0 with 7 other comparable offerings –  Red Hat Ceph, VMware Virtual SAN, HPE StoreServ 8200, NetApp FAS2554, IBM Storwize v5010 and Scality RING. You can read the full results here  but – spoiler alert – the Red Hat pricing model works out in line with more traditional vendors (as in high!), the cost of supporting VMware Virtual SAN can be hard to swallow, and the range on cost is huge: as much as $330k at the top end, and as low as $149k at the bottom. Shouldn’t be too hard to guess who wins.

FULL REPORT HERE

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