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The TCO of Hard Drives vs Flash Storage…not so fast

When I saw the title of this infographic, I was like, “Finally, the TCO mystery explained in a simple to read graphical format. Then, I saw it was a hard disk drive (HDD) vs. Flash/SSD story, and the variable used to measure TCO – Performance.  My geeky excitement immediately faded, because this ending to this vertical picture book was all too predictable.

When it comes to storage performance, you simply cannot beat the advantages of flash, and if performance is the #1 metric by which you measure storage TCO, then this infographic does a great job of providing a creative and informative look at the advantages of flash over spinning media. But, we all know storage is not that simple. There are other variables at play here.  The most glaring (okay, obvious) one is capacity. There are also numerous variables associated with solution design, deployment, and operations like application compatibility, interoperability, supply assurance, and service and support.

My point is that data just doesn’t need to move faster. The Achilles heel for most companies is that the faster data moves, the more of it is created, and thus, the more of it that needs to be stored. And, that my friends is a capacity TCO story.

So, when exploring the true TCO of storage, take a step back and look at the entire picture. Odds are how you rank your metrics will change at each stage of the data lifecycle.

Image by Whiptail

2 Comments

  • [...] The TCO of Hard Drives vs Flash Storage…not so fast [...]

  • Hi, it’s true that capacity is important, but I think today’s flash storage serves for different purpose: It’s developed for performance. In another word, if you want to seek capacity then you might want to buy HDD with bigger capacity like SATA because it will be a lot cheaper. But if your pain point is performance, then flash is much better and cheaper. If you want both at the same time, maybe you want to combine both and add some supporting technologies like auto tiering.

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