SSD storage is how much?!

As a non-expert in the SSD storage field, I keep coming back to this question: why are SSD arrays still so expensive?  My guess?  Concerns with “consumer” SSD reliability coupled with excellent marketing strategies allow the main vendors in this space to keep prices so inflated.  PureStorage and EMC are the main providers of SSD arrays.  How overpriced are they?  Ironically, EMC’s XtremIO page references a Gartner article that states the following regarding XtremIO: “transparency of information (such as list prices, discount levels and independent performance benchmarks) is unavailable”.  That’s listed as a concern.

Let’s try to get more transparent by comparing a local storage configuration with a PureStorage array.

The PureStorage “TCO calculator” lists 30 TB of usable SSD storage at $267,306.  A Samsung 850 Pro 1 TB SSD is $479.99 on Newegg.  $267,306 would buy you 556 Samsung 850 drives, netting 278 TB of usable storage in a RAID 10 configuration.  Of course, you’d need quite the storage array to hold over 500 drives, so let’s get realistic.  Say I wanted 30 TB of usable storage using all local storage.  How could it be accomplished and how much cheaper is it really?  Let’s take a look…

Buy 3 dual socket, Xeon 14-core, PowerEdge R730xd servers each with 256 GB of memory for 3 * $13,000, so $39,000.  Each server holds 24 drives, so 12 TB usable in RAID 10.  Total cost?  $39,000 for compute + $34,559.28 = $73,559.28.  So roughly $75,000 total.

So, if you have a budget of a quarter million dollars to spend on VDI, you can either buy one 30 TB storage array or the same amount of storage, three servers, and have just under $200,000 left for, oh I don’t know, all the Microsoft/VMware/Citrix licensing you need, an epic backup and DR environment, all the networking switches and cards required, and location fail-over.  And throw yourself the best party ever too.  Bring your coworkers too.

Also, here’s more on the so called “short lifespan” of “consumer” SSDs.


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