IT organizations are under constant pressure to do more with less. It is no longer simply enough to identify the optimal technology that satisfies the technical requirements. The organization is under scrutiny to identify and justify the technology that best satisfies the requirements of the application at the lowest cost to the business. Not surprisingly, ESG research shows that the most important criteria reported by respondents when it comes to selecting a technology are price and total cost of ownership (TCO).1 To help balance these requirements from a storage perspective, it is important to identify more cost-effective storage technologies. This requires looking at the price tag of the equipment, examining the efficiencies built into the storage system, and understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the storage investment.

The Dell Storage SC4020 was designed to deliver the enterprise-class features and functionality of the Dell Compellent SC8000 storage system in a more cost-effective package that is optimized for small to midsized deployments. The SC4020 comes in a 2U dual controller enclosure with 24 integrated drive slots, 8 Fibre Channel (FC) or 4 iSCSI host ports, and 4 SAS disk expansion ports. SC200/220 disk enclosures can be added to scale the system up to 120 drives. The controllers are powered by a single quad-core 2.5GHz Intel processor with 32GB of memory. While the SC4020’s hardware is a compact, scaled-down version of the more powerful SC8000, it contains all of the same enterprise-class features and functionality.
The SC4020 runs the Storage Center 6.5 firmware with enterprise features such as Data Progression2 , thin provisioning, and space efficient snapshots. Like the SC8000, the SC4020 ensures investment protection with a Perpetual License software pricing model and Dell Copilot, which provides The large model required asynchronous replication to a DR site at the initial deployment. At the DR Site, approximately 85% of the total primary site performance storage capacity (SSD+10K SAS) is required. All primary site SSD performance capacity was protected at the DR site on 10K SAS disks—no flash was required at the DR site. NL-SAS capacity at the DR site protects both SAS and NL-SAS capacity at approximately 85% of the primary site. The capacity and drive technology mix for the large configuration is shown in Table 4. Like the small model, actual capacities and drive mix varied between vendors based on configuration and purchasing limitations, optimization technologies, known advantages, and known limitations.

ESG modeled the expected management contribution from each level of user based on knowledge of each storage vendor’s current software portfolio. The tasks ESG Lab modeled were: monitor, plan, provision, expand, tier, snap setup, snap recover, DR setup, DR test, and network configuration. Two other larger tasks included in the management costs were the migration of old data to the newly deployed infrastructure and the addition of a new system to an existing infrastructure. Each task was assigned an amount of time to complete (in minutes) and a monthly frequency.