What are the disadvantages of high-performance NAS? When should other storage technologies be used?
Clients ask me this question all the time, and the disadvantage is cost. Storage costs have been driven down to almost negligible proportions. Back in 1996, I sold storage for $100 per MB, and now we're seeing it for one penny per megabyte with advanced features and functionality. However, you will pay more for the features and guaranteed performance levels that your business requires. If customers only care about cost, consider using a different storage technology.
We exhaust every effort possible to get them the right solution first. If it comes down to a pure price game, we weigh the extended cost of support before we propose another solution. If they have a need that can only be met by a high-performance NAS from a Blue Arc, a NetApp or an EMC, and the customer still cannot accept the price, we have to decide whether to walk away from the customer. In some cases, lower-priced, cluster-based NAS solutions may provide clients with an acceptable compromise between price and performance. We'll explain what the pros and the cons are in their environment, and tell them when they'll likely need to replace it.
This was first published in August 2008