Jun 222008

Have you ever tried to decipher a SAN pricing proposal from one of the “big” guys? There are more part numbers than I would expect when building the space shuttle. It is not enough to have the basic hardware broken down into dozens of pieces but then you have to select a dizzying array of software licensing options for both the array and any hosts using array features.

Here’s a sample SKU list from a major NAS/SAN vendor for a simple storage array:

FAS3050HA-IB-BASE-1 GF-RAS53050HA,IB,1B CF,OS,R5         2
X70015A-ESH2-R5-C   DS14MK2 SHLF, ACPS,14x144GB,15K,HDD  5
X6524-R6-C          CBL, 2M, Optical, Pair, LC/C,-C,R6   2
X6530-R6-C          CBL,0.5M,PATCH,FC SFPTO SFP-C,R6     6
X1941A-R6-C         CBL,5M,CLUSTER4X,CU-C,R6             2
X871A-R6-C          20A Storace Equipment Cabinet,-C,R6  1
X875A-R6-C 20A      PWR CORD (4),CABINET, NEMA-S,R6      1
X800-42U-R6-C       Cabinet Component Power Cable, R6    14
X5517-R6-C          Storage cabinet, Rail Set,42U,-C,R6  1
X6529-R6-C          SFP, Optical, Pair, LC/LC, -6, R6    4
X8773-R6-C          Multiple Product Tie-Down Bracket,-  2
DOC-3XXX-C          Documents, 3XXX,-C                   1
Software (Base Unit)
SW-T4C-CIFS-C CIFS   CIFS Software, T4C-C                2
SW-T4C-ISCSI-C iSCSI iSCSI Software, T4C-C               2
SW-T4C-NFS-C NFS    NFS Software, T4C-C                  2
SW-T4C-SRESTORE-C   SnapRestore Software,T4C,-C          2
SW-T4C-SME-C        SnapManager Software, Exchange, T4C  2
SW-T4C-SMSVS-C      SnapMirro-SnapVault Software Bndl,   2
Software (Host Side)
SW-SDR-WIN          SnapDrive, Windows                   10
SW-SSP-SDR-WINDOW   SW Subs SnapDrive for Windows 3.0    10
SW-SMBR-1000PK      Single Mbox Recovery, 1000pk         1
SW-SSPVN-SMBR-1000PKendor SW Sub SMBR, 1000pk            1
SW-SDR-SOL-TIER1    SnapDrive, Solaris, Tier 1           10
SW-SSP-SDR-SOL-TIER1SW Subs, SDR Solaris Support, Tier   10
SW-SDU-CPU          SW, SnapDrive UNIX, CPU              5
SW-SMO-CPU          SW, SnapManager Oracle, CPU          5
SW-SSP-SMO-CPU      SW, SUB, SnapManager Oracle          5
Services and Support
CS-S-INST           Initial Installation-DS14            1
CS-A                SupportEdge Standard-FAS270 Mths: 3  2

Wow. All we wanted was a simple array to store some data. Instead, we got a dissertation on what the sales person thinks we need. Notice that this proposal contains base hardware, base software, host software, installation services and support. Although this would be considered a “simple” configuration, it is still complex and a potential customer would be hesitant to make any changes or delete any proposed features.

What’s worse is if the customer proceeds with this proposal thinking they have “covered all their bases” for the future. However, since many projects increase in complexity over time, new features may be needed but this a la carte model requires the customer to re-budget and purchase additional options in the future…more money.

EqualLogic’s approach eliminates complexity

Compare this nightmare configuration with how EqualLogic sells their arrays. Equallogic has a single part number for everything including every option. Here is an Equallogic configuration for a fault-tolerant (no single point of failure) 6TB system with SAS drives. 

SKU Description Qty
PS5000XV 7.2TB Dell Equallogic 7.2TB SAS Array with (16) 450GB drives with dual controllers, cache and (6) 1Gb network connections. Includes PS Series software – Multi-OS support, Snapshots, Thin Provisioning, Cloning, Volume Manager, Replication, Load Balancing, Virtualization, Multi-path IO, and all future features. 1

I like to call this the single most important business feature of EqualLogic; all inclusive pricing. Everything you will need, now and in the future, is included at no additional charge. When you install the unit and fire up the GUI you will notice that there are no features “greyed out”. This is fantastic for projects that evolve because when you need a feature, say Offsite Replication, its available. Simply configure it!

Want to save money? Consider eliminating complexity.

 Posted by at 11:08 pm  Tagged with: