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October 2011

In pursuit of affordable shared-storage options

Shared storage costs a lot. It’s probably the biggest single-ticket item in the data centre. On SearchStorage.co.UK we recently examined the supposed sub-$10,000/euro 6,000 SAN market, and the conclusion was that there really wasn’t one; we determined that the few products available at this price point lacked dual controllers or support and maintenance, and you’d actually need to spend more like $20,000/euro 12,000 to get a decent entry-level SAN. That’s entry level, remember. Realistically, to deploy a fully redundant SAN with a reasonable amount of options plus maintenance you’re looking at around euro 100,000 for, say, 10 TB of shared storage from the likes of EMC, HP or IBM. But does enterprise-class shared storage have to be that expensive? Well, right now there isn’t a wealth of affordable shared-storage options. The overwhelming majority of storage products are those produced by the major vendors. They consist of controller software and a bunch of disk enclosures. There’s nothing very special at all about the latter, but ...

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