Every once in a while the question comes up.
How come my IT department is charging me tens of dollars per gigabyte of storage for my application per month when I can pay less than 15 cents per gigabyte at Best Buy (where a 2TB drive might cost less than $150)?
The conversation then includes long discussions about many topics, including:
- The difference between consumer-grade drives and enterprise-grade drives
- The characteristics of SATA drives, SAS drives, FC drives and SSD drives
- The mean time between failure (MTBF) of drives, especially SATA drives
- The role of a RAID controller and storage arrays and how they add to the cost of storage
- The IOPS requirements of certain enterprise applications
- The relationship between a drive’s rotation speed and the number of IOPS a hard drive can deliver
- The extra disk space required for snapshots and backups
- The desire for site replication solutions and their associated costs
- The post-acquisition costs of storage, including the resources to manage it
- How IT uses charge-backs to avoid misuse of resources by other departments
- And a whole assortment of related topics…
By the end of it, while whoever asked the question is still unhappy with the charges, they are usually more understanding.
Now the real fun is when this type of discussion happens on a public forum, like Slashdot.