A New Look at Storage Pricing

At $23 per pound, Sun's new SL3000 is probably a bargain

February 29, 2008

1 Min Read
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Forget capacity-based pricing, one-off, sliding scale discounts, etc. There's another way to look at storage pricing. Call it the butcher block approach.

This take is based on a very real metric -- total equipment weight. This metric is not only a fair gauge of prospective raised-floor pressure, it's also a key to helping C-series management understand what it is you want them to buy.

Take, for instance, Sun's new midrange tape library, the StorageTek SL3000. While it's billed by Sun as a "little brother" to the mammoth SL8500, it's nowhere near little, weighing in at 2,935 pounds. At $68,000, that's $23 per pound.

"Listen, boss, I know that's a lot of money, but you get a TON of equipment for that!"

Let's try a few more butcher-block storage pricing examples, snatched from recent headlines:

  • HP's EVA4400: $17 per pound. (Given starting price of $15,000 divided by full weight of 860 lbs.)

  • NetApp's StoreVault S550: $115 per pound. (Given starting price of $6,000 divided by full weight of 52 lbs.)

  • Xyratex's F5404E: $30 per pound. (Given a starting price of $5,000 divided by full weight of 165 lbs.)

What's that you say? It's not scientific? We're not comparing apples to apples? We're not even getting the right model numbers matched with the right weights?

Well, all great marketing math had a humble beginning, right? Sometimes it starts on a cocktail serviette. No worries. Someday we'll see an array hit $5 per pound.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA)

  • Xyratex Ltd.0

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