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Three-year storage hardware refresh cycles are a rip-off. Customers don’t want them, the hardware doesn’t require them and all they do is produce revenue for hardware makers. Instead, you should buy re-purposed hardware with software-defined storage that can last up to seven years.
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Those are the views of US-based international equipment reseller Curvature, which has announced a partnership with storage software supplier DataCore.
The partnership will supply DataCore’s software-defined storage products on new and pre-owned server hardware from Curvature.
Jeff Zanardi, business development vice-president at Curvature, said: “The current business model only benefits the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]. Customers get three years of support, they pay for one more and then that’s it – they’re forced to upgrade. The majority of upgrades are forced by the OEM, but storage hardware lifespan is typically much longer.”
DataCore is a fully featured software storage controller which takes physical storage media from any supplier to create one large pool and manages volumes within that, with features including replication, snapshots and CDP, unified storage capability, thin provisioning and Raid striping.
Zanardi says customers can get out of rip-and-replace cycles and that a four to seven years lifetime is possible for servers and storage equipment.
Curvature and DataCore have no customers to their partnership in a formal sense. However, Zanardi pointed to a bank in the US, which – when faced with a $1.2m NetApp upgrade it deemed unnecessary – instead used existing Hewlett-Packard (HP) servers plus disk hardware bought from Curvature with DataCore software deployed, all for a cost of $300,000.
But why wouldn’t customers go directly to the server makers and deploy DataCore on new hardware?
“We can supply new gear, but we specialise in pre-owned equipment from a generation or two back and so comes at a significantly reduced price point and with full maintenance and support,” said Zanardi.
But why Curvature? Why not buy second-hand servers from anyone and deploy storage software onto them?
Zanardi response was to claim Curvature’s uniqueness comes from its size, being a $320m a year company with bases in three continents and a healthy staff of engineers.
“The reality is a lot of independent resellers of server and storage gear are mostly brokers without investment and maintenance capabilities. We do and we’re the biggest in the world,” said Zanardi.
Read more about software-defined storage
- Computer Weekly looks at products that merge SSD and spinning disk, as well as key market trends.
- Read Computer Weekly’s guide to learn about the key areas of all-flash, hybrid or PCIe; MLC vs SLC; speccing for performance and troubleshooting flash.