At a recent conference I was asked how to cost-justify solid state disk during tough economic times. The interesting aspect to SSD is that because of its cost, it always has needed to be cost justified, regardless of the economic situation, and as a result is far better suited to do more than just "ride out" the storm.First, while the cost of SSD has come down significantly in the past few years, it still on a dollar per gigabyte basis is more expensive than mechanical hard drives. For SSD to make sense for your environment, you must be equally or more concerned about performance per gigabyte.
For SSD to be considered, your organization must have a performance problem that, if reduced or eliminated, will allow you to either save more money, make people more productive, or allow the generation of more revenue. All three would be best. For example, if you have a disk-intensive rebuild or re-index that takes an hour and that time can be reduced to 8 minutes, allowing people to get back to work quickly, the increased productivity alone could justify the investment in SSD. The more often per day you perform that task, the more cost justifiable SSD becomes.
The timesavings are then amortizable. Many organizations can cost-justify the SSD investment to increase the performance of one application, but can then move all their hot files, such as indexes and redo logs, to the SSD for all of their applications. While the performance of these individual applications couldn't justify a SSD by themselves, when combined together with the focused application, the timesavings can cost-justify an investment in more SSD capacity.
Time and increased productivity aren't the only aspects that can cost-justify SSD. In our next entry, we will look at some hard costs SSD's can eliminate.
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George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.