StorOne's $799 per month storage array leasing offer: How does it stack up?

Looking at the promise from StorOne to offer its software-defined storage for $799 a month – that’s about £640 – for 15TB of file, block or object storage capacity, I thought I’d compare it with the cost of cloud storage and buying an entry-level storage array from one of the big five.

The StorOne offer comes out looking like a good one, superficially at least.

Its S1 software-defined storage platform handles SAN, NAS and S3 object storage with the lure of remarkable levels of capacity utilisation. In addition, after 60 months of the leasing-style arrangement ownership is transferred to the customer.

So, how does £640 a month compare to the cost of cloud storage?

With Amazon 15TB of standard access S3 object storage would cost you £360 per month. The infrequent access variant of that would be £196 per month. On top of this you’d have to add access charges, with Amazon billing you per request to browse, search, put, get, copy etc and by the GB to return data.

But not many people are going to use solely object storage are they anyway?

Meanwhile, 15TB of Amazon block storage would cost £1,740 per month for general purpose SSD, or £795 for “throughput optimised” spinning disk.

Oddly, Amazon file storage costs the most, with 15TB of standard Amazon Cloud File Storage costing £4,950 per month.

Having said all that, Amazon’s cost structure is nowhere near that simple in practice. You will actually be charged by the second for block and file storage and there are also many more levels of service to choose from than I’ve quoted here.

The actual nature of the workload and the ability to move data between tiers would make a huge difference to the bill in practice so it’s very difficult to give a monthly cost of cloud storage to compare against the StorOne offer.

But, what about buying your own storage array? A similar capacity storage array with flash drives from, say, NetApp or HPE, would hit you for about £25,000 including VAT.

If that hardware reached end-of-life over three years that’d work out at £694 a month.

On the surface of it that looks in a similar ball park to StorOne’s £640 per month. But then StorOne is software-defined storage, so you’re going to have to shell out for a hardware platform anyway, and that’ll probably double the cost.

So, at the end of the day it looks like going with an entry-level storage array wins out.

Unless you know better?

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