I’ll first discard any environments with leased equipment. The financial models are different in those circumstances. However, if you own your SAN (or SANs), as I own my car, consider the following issues.
There is a desire for a new car, just as there may be desire for a new SAN. My current, 10-year-old car is well maintained and operates almost perfectly. I’ve taken very good care of it, as it is one of the most expensive things I own after my house (which I still don’t own). Likely, your SAN may be in perfect operational order and similarly well maintained. Your needs may have grown and you may have several SANs (not necessarily from the same vendor), again all in good operational order. Lastly, you may have budget, but you have a number of different projects and can only make a purchases for one or perhaps a few. Similarly, I have a budget (not cash), and approval from my wife, for a new car; although there are several house-related projects that could easily use my ‘car budget’.
So for a car, my ‘wants’ are simple. I want the performance of a McLaren Formula One car, the cargo/towing capacity of a Chevrolet Suburban, the efficient gas mileage of a Toyota Prius -- all for $30,000. As you can see, I’m a simple man with simple needs. You may want more capacity, high-performance data access (both read and write), more features than you currently have (or have paid for), common management, and, similarly, a fantasy price.
My new car desires are mostly superficial. I don’t really need a new car, I just want a new car. I can maintain my car and likely get five more years out of it. IT organizations may need more capacity, better performance and cost benefits made capable by new SANs, such as thin provisioning, volume migration, hypervisor support, VDI capability, remote replication, and automated disaster recovery. There exists the common dilemma I see regularly and, of course, a number of available solutions. Each of the major SAN vendors sells SAN virtualization arrays or platform. You can either buy their high-end SAN to virtualize your existing equipment or seek more cost effective alternatives.
In my case I decided to spend a little money for new, very nice, tires and new suspension components. So for less than $2,000, my old car drives like new and feels great. FalconStor customers in similar SAN dilemas might consider our NSS SAN Accelerator. This appliance “sits” in front of your existing SAN equipment and give it that “new car feel.”. A small layer of SSD (Solid State Disks), used for both READ and WRITE cache, provides fantastic performance for both normal SAN purposes and also for VDI deployments. Of course, you get thin provisioning, migration, remote replication, automated DR, support for both FC and iSCSI across all your existing SAN inventory, regardless if you previously had that capability or not (or had paid for it or not). This cost-effective performance alternative might ease budgetary dilemmas that many of us feel these days. As for my new car budget, I’ll likely be using most of it the next few years paying for gasoline.