Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently analyzed the total cost of storage ownership over five years for two theoretical customers at the small and large ends of the “medium-sized business” segment. ESG compared a Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SAN solution to competing solutions from two other industry-leading storage vendors.

The ESG Lab analysis was quantitative in that it compared the cost of acquisition (hardware and software), support, management (including manpower), and power and cooling over five years. The smaller configuration was built with a mix of SAS and SATA drives, while the larger configuration factored in SSDs due to customer’s performance requirements.

ESG found that EqualLogic’s TCO is impressively lower over a five-year period than its competitors. ESG credited a majority of the difference to two main areas: software and management. EqualLogic software is provided at no additional charge; specifically, EqualLogic Group Manager, Host Integration Tools, and SAN Headquarters are free with PS series hardware.

Management also accounted for a significant difference in cost when comparing Dell with other storage vendors’ systems. The management savings come from the easy-to-use software tools and EqualLogic’s ability to utilize hardware across generations – all of EqualLogic’s 12 generation hardware can run the latest firmware and can be mixed within the same storage pool.

Moreover, ESG found the upgrade process for EqualLogic very very appealing for TCO – after adding a new EqualLogic array, the older EqualLogic array can be evacuated and retired in one-click thereby completely eliminating costs associated with the migration of old data to new systems.

Summary of findings:

    • Dell EqualLogic has the lowest total cost of ownership.
    • In the small storage solution, EqualLogic ($228,111) costs 41% and 47% less than nearly identical offerings from Vendor A ($384,536) and Vendor B ($429,751).
    • In the large storage solution, EqualLogic ($429,086) costs 39% and 55% less than nearly identical offerings from Vendor A ($699,510) and Vendor B ($958,316).
    • The management costs associated with Vendor A and Vendor B are 50% to 60% more expensive than with EqualLogic. This includes the cost of migrating old data, system upgrades after three years, and manpower.

The complete ESG TCO study is available here.