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Managed Hosting - Storage Pricing

We currently have a managed hosting agreement with a large, very good company that provides excellent services. We now need more storage than local drives can provide, so we've had them quote moving our storage to their managed SAN (EMC Clariion CX700 w/ Raid 5 Fiber Channel Drives). We're being quoted $12 per GB per month for storage. Since we've never had SAN storage before I have no idea whether this pricing is in line or not. Does anyone know what's the going price for high speed managed SAN storage?

Thanks!
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rsjarrell
Asked:
rsjarrell
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1 Solution
 
northcideCommented:
That doesnt seem completely outrageous considering they are providing you a fully managed service.  You have to understand the amount of support a clarion CX requires, plus all the fixed costs such as air conditioning, power consumption, etc.  It is a huge investment, so i wouldnt balk at $12 per gb with all the management required for such a service.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
It is outrageous if you need a lot of storage.  Say you run a big SQL database and need 100 GB storage, which is not unreasonable for an SQL database -- then you are looking at $1200 per month -- i.e. $14,400 per year!!

This is ridiculous!!!  You can get your OWN DEDICATED server on an OC5 connection to the internet for $89 per month, and on that server, you can put whatever disk you want -- 100 GB, 250 GB, you name it, it is your choice, you only pay for the server to get prime access to the internet.

This is the only way to go.  You can build a webserver for $1200 max. and for $1000 per year, that amounts to $1200 for a year.  So that equals what these people want to extort out of you PER MONTH!!!!  Dont fall for it, get your own server, have someone set it up, and find a host (e.g. hostforweb.com) who will do this for under $100 per month for you.  That is the way to go and you can do whatever you want with it, unfettered.
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northcideCommented:
I'd hardly call it outrageous not knowing what his business needs are.  If they have business critical data which needs to be accessed by several servers simultaneously regularly then the best option for them is to run using a fibre channel SAN - period.  You don't get SLA's by building your own server, and i would be willing to bet they would get a better deal on backups.  building your own server still leaves backups up in the air.

rsjarrell - you need to determine how critical your applications are and how much availability will be required by them.  Don't simply try to cut costs by building your own servers.  i agree with scrathcyboy that you need to do some math, however there are many more variables than just how much it would cost to build and CoLocate a couple servers.  Base your deicion on the business needs at hand, coupled with the total cost of ownership of each solution.

And btw, you'd be hardpressed to find an "OC5".
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Nonsense, any of these OC5 hosting companies backup your server daily as part of the contract, and all of the needs rsjarrell described can be covered with their own server CO-LOCATED at a hosting company with the bandwidth to handle it.  YOu just have to shop around.  You are saying that rsjarrell should be scammed for 10x the price he should be paying because you are unaware of the colocation options available today???

That is just about as unhelpful as you can get.  Be clear -- YOU colocate ONE SERVER -- i.e. ONE SERVER  -- with all the crucial data on it, and YOU decide what HDD capacity you want, and THEY BACKUP the server as PART of the $89 colocation contract.  This is STANDARD in the industry now, please search this and find out that these plans are available at many-many numerous major ISPs sitting on top of OC5 cables, right now...
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northcideCommented:
Well, actually it is NOT standard issue to include backups for a colocated server.  that would just be ridiculous.

Picture you colocate a 2U server which has 800GB of drive storage in it.  you pay or flate rate of $90/month for that colo service and they are going to back it up for you?  That's just silly to expect that.  It would cost the hosting company more than $300/month just to store that amount of backups, even if it is to an inexpensive disk array.  It is however SOMETIMES included in MANAGED hosting - i.e. they build the server for you, they own it.

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gurutcCommented:
I totally agree with scrathcyboy though on this one. (and I'm not looking for points!)

Do your own backups at the colocation site.  

First way to do this:  Put an LTO drive in the colocated server and go change the tapes or use a jukebox on it.  We have high-speed colocation providers right down the street from our facility.  We can get access to our colocated boxes 24/7 for maintenance.  

Second way to do this:  Or you colocate two servers and have one back the other up.  That would be a low cost backup solution with no additional monthly incremental for bandwidth.  

Good Luck,
gurutc
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northcideCommented:
you're price difference was just shattered by by adding a second server and/or LTO drive....plus still no SLA.
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gurutcCommented:
Second Server = Maybe $1200?  Probably less, run Linux on it and backup with RSYNC.  Bingo, no OS cost, perfect backups.  

SLA = nice.  worth the cost in many cases.  

Know How to Do It Yourself = just as nice, priceless.

gurutc
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gurutcCommented:
Sorry northcide, came off sounding sarcastic there.  Your solution is truly a viable one that may be the best choice for the asker.  I was just trying to offer alternatives.  I've gone your route plenty also and have been happy.

- gurutc
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rsjarrellAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the comments. We have gone the "do it yourself" route (full cabinet with multiple servers of our own and a Dell PowerVault SCSI unit and Dell Tape Library) but our business grew to a point to where managed services made more sense. While I sincerely appreciate the suggestions re: colocating to save money, what I really need to find out is what others are currently paying for managed fiber SAN storage if anyone knows.

Thanks!
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northcideCommented:
rsjarrell - no i dont believe $12 per GB is all that bad, however that is probably per GB on the low end scale of usage.  typically the more space you pay for the less you pay per GB.  There are several other companies out there that i have seen selling for around $10 per GB, however most of them are mom/pop shops and you really never know what you're going to get with them.  Make sure your host knows what they are doing.

Make sure you ask them for the full cost breakdown if you reach threshold. Also make sure it doesnt make more sense to get just a small AX100 SAN of your own.  VERY simple to setup and you get the full benefits of a SAN.

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gurutcCommented:
I agree with northcide.  We have trouble getting hard quotes from vendors although they bug us to death trying to sell storage.  At the Terabyte level we have been quoted $8 per Gig.  So $12 is competetive but a tad high.  From my experience, managed storage vendors are having trouble raising awareness of how good their product is, so deals can be found.  But remember, the lowest price isn't always the best deal.

- gurutc
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northcideCommented:
" managed storage vendors are having trouble raising awareness of how good their product is, so deals can be found" - i couldnt have said it better myself gurutc.
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rsjarrellAuthor Commented:
Excellent - Thanks! I was able to negotiate to the $9.50 or so level, and I have a VERY VERY good top tier managed service provider. Since we're starting off with about 500GB this appears to be a competitive price. Fiber SAN storage isn't inexpensive, but for us it is a good value considering the speed, reliability, and most of all, the scalability.
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gurutcCommented:
Yay!

That's a good deal.  Points to northcide or split with northcide getting majority I think!

gurutc
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gurutcCommented:
Remember, to split, the button is at the bottom.  It's hard to find.

gurutc
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northcideCommented:
ouch :/ that hurts.  no points?
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rsjarrellAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the point split. I really should have done that. Forgive me while I learn :-(
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northcideCommented:
no worries, shit happens i guess.  at least i was able to have a spirited banter :)
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gurutcCommented:
you're cool, northcide, and smart

gurutc
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rsjarrellAuthor Commented:
I'll do better next time..... I promise :-)

Thanks to both of your for your help. It is sincerely appreciated!
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