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Enterprise SSD CAPEX
All these problems with cloud storage start to make buying an enterprise SSD-based array sound attractive, but apart from the space, power and cooling costs, there are several other disadvantages to this approach. There's the hefty CAPEX that's required every three to five years as the storage system reaches the end of its useful life, and you don't get that elusive storage agility that the cloud offers. Instead you need to work out how much storage you need and how those needs are likely to change over the next few years — and then purchase sufficient enterprise SSD capacity upfront. That almost certainly means your storage system will be under-utilized — initially, at least — and you are committed to that enterprise SSD storage strategy for the next few years.
That's why on-demand enterprise SSD storage on-premises appears to be a particularly attractive option. It offers the agility of the cloud without the latency, and your data stays in your data center without the CAPEX and underutilization.
Aggressive Enterprise SSD Pricing
Second, it is far harder for smaller startups to offer pay-as-you-go or pay-as-you-grow storage service because they have to finance the systems upfront and then wait much longer to get their money back.
HPE is in a good position to benefit from demand for on-demand enterprise SSD storage because if the model becomes more popular, as Peters believes it will, it will be hard for other large vendors to enter the on-demand market in the short term. That's because storage vendors move slowly at the best of times, and especially slowly when it comes to offering on-demand type deals. "As a vendor, any time you want to introduce something new that delays revenue coming in your initiative will be tied up by other departments for months," he says.
Sticky enterprise SSDs
But Peters warns that an on-demand enterprise SSD system is by no means the perfect storage solution. That's because while on-demand storage may hold out the promise of making your enterprise SSD storage more agile, it may end up making it less agile. That may seem contradictory, but Peters explains that an on-demand deal such as the one HPE is offering is likely to make customers stick with them. "No change in IT is ever easy, but a rental deal is actually likely to be stickier than a purchase because it is easy and flexible," he says.
It's also likely to be stickier because an on-demand enterprise SSD deal makes the storage professional responsible for getting it to look good, he adds. Basically, this is a cloud-variant of the old adage that no one ever got fired for choosing IBM. "There is clearly the attraction that those responsible for choosing it can tell their hierarchical chain that they are consuming IT in a cloud-like fashion," says Peters.
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