In Part 1 of this blog, we explored our vision for perpetual storage and specifically how the new Forever Flash enables that vision with its three pillars: Flat & Fair, Free Every Three, and Forever Maintenance. Now let’s explore what Forever Flash means for the business in financial terms – and how we stack up to the competition.
Forever Flash is a Revolution in Storage Economics
To truly understand the cost of storage it is critical to analyze how costs change over time, i.e. to analyze the lifecycle cost of storage. Big Storage typically has a lifecycle of 3 or perhaps 4 years until a tech refresh, rip/replace and migration, so any analysis needs to cover that period at the very least. With the new Forever Flash we are creating a perpetual storage lifecycle that operates on 3 year refreshes – all without any migrations or forklift upgrades. So, we’ll use a 6-year view to capture a refresh each for Pure and for Big Storage.
What happens when we add up all the annual CAPEX and OPEX costs over 6 years? We see that traditional disk storage doesn’t just hurt workload performance, it also hurts financial performance.
In this example of 100 TB of usable storage, growing 20% capacity each year, the maintenance and support costs for Big Storage are nearly 2X more expensive than Pure Storage. And the CAPEX is even worse, at about 2.5X more expensive.
Forever Flash also has a powerful benefit for CFOs – extended depreciation. Our FlashArrays have a much longer lifespan than disk – arguably it never ends (when we say “perpetual storage” – we mean it!). This means the depreciation expense on our customers’ FlashArrays can be spread over 5 years or more. Let’s take an example to make this real. Imagine $100 of CAPEX for an initial purchase of storage. With a typical 3-year depreciation schedule, organizations will take a $33 expense charge each year. What if we can extend the schedule?
Here we see what happens. Moving to a five-year schedule saves 40% in depreciation expense each year. A seven-year schedule saves almost 60% – and the savings keep getting better the longer out in time we go. These savings directly increase net income – and any increase in net income is guaranteed to put a smile on a CFO’s face.
These are the charts Big Storage does not want customers to see and it’s no surprise why. If customers can get all of the performance, availability and simplicity benefits from Pure Storage AND save tremendously, why would they invest a single dollar more in disk infrastructure?
Forever Flash is Changing the Storage Industry
We led off in this post talking about how EMC, HP and others are reacting to the disruptive innovation of Forever Flash with their own incremental improvements. Time to get specific.
Note: competitive program details represented as of best available public information at the time of publication. More details can be found at:
- EMC: http://www.emc.com/microsites/xpectmore/assets/xtremio-xpectmore-details.pdf
- HP: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2014/HPDiscover2014/HPDeliversAllFlash.pdf
- IBM: http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=an&subtype=ca&appname=gpateam&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS113-183
This comparison shows that even with recent improvements, Big Storage still has a long way to go. EMC’s XpectMore program is the best of the bunch, keeping pricing flat and protecting hardware for up to 7 years. Not quite Forever, but it’s a start! Interestingly, EMC only offers this program for XtremIO and not the rest of their product line, including VMAX and VNX. Why not? Great question – and we recommend you ask EMC directly.
HP 3PAR and IBM FlashSystem have also introduced their own flash wear warranties for 5 years and 3 years respectively. As with EMC, extended coverage beyond the warranty period is not offered. What should customers do when they reach the end of the warranty period? From the looks of things, it’s the same story all over again: a new array purchase with a forklift upgrade and migration. Wouldn’t you rather buy perpetual storage?
Forever Flash: We Have You Covered
Hopefully this blog illustrates how Forever Flash and the brave new world of perpetual storage deliver tremendous value for customers. No matter how you approach storage ownership, we have you covered. For those who want predictable pricing over the long term – Forever Flash guarantees that maintenance and support rates stay Fair & Flat and will never exceed original pricing. For those who want to keep their storage healthy and productive – Forever Maintenance proactively replaces your hardware and software as-needed with no restrictions on flash age or usage patterns. And for those who want to continually upgrade and enhance their storage – Forever Flash upgrades your controllers for Free Every Three years to keep your storage fast and modern. Give us a shout and we’ll be happy to show you how Forever Flash can liberate you from Big Storage business practices and transform both your storage experience and your storage economics.