Flash Storage for a Lifetime: How Lifetime Storage Compares to Other Programs Out There

I use metaphors to explain all sorts of things every day. For me, it is easier to explain things with a simple metaphor than try to grind through the details of something. This week, Tegile announced our Lifetime Storage Program. It is a creative way to leverage financing, using an OPEX model to pay for technology refreshes in three or five years, depending on your accounting teams’ depreciation model.


Here comes my metaphor: Imagine buying a Chevy Camaro in 2010. With the car, you buy a “Forever Camaro Program” option. At the end of the third year, Chevy gives you a brand new 2013 Camaro, and it is already paid for! The dealer just swaps cars with you. Before leaving, the dealer asks if you want to renew your Forever Camaro agreement. Well of course! Fast forward another three years and here comes the dealer with a brand new Camaro, again. This goes on and on as long as you want.

That sounds nice, but why would I want to pre-pay for a car now? Here’s the kicker: In our business, the NAND manufacturers that make the media inside of flash drives have completely thrown Moore’s Law out the window. That means the cost per IOP and cost per GB of flash will continue to drop like a rock. Therefore, when you are opting into Lifetime Storage, you are buying in at a huge discount for at least the same capacity and performance. Because Lifetime Storage is built into our maintenance contract structure, you can slide it over to the OPEX side of your budget and not have to beg for more CAPEX in three or six years – the deal is already done. Sweet.

The Other Guys’ program

Now, there are what appear to be similar programs out there from other storage vendors. Just like buying a car, make sure you read the fine print. The only thing that they are refreshing are your storage controllers. Bummer. What happens when SAS interconnects get faster, or even more dramatic? What happens when NVMe SSDs become widely available? Sorry, no can do. All you are really getting is a new set of tires for the Camaro – no change in horsepower, no new suspension, no new Spotify player natively in the car; just tires.

Here is where it gets a little ugly. Our competitive analysis spies have secured pricing for the other guys’ program that only gives you new controllers. Their program COSTS MORE than Tegile’s Lifetime Storage that gets you an entirely new system – controllers, media, enclosures – the whole system. That doesn’t sound right does it? What’s worse is they have recently added a program that allows for older flash to be “consolidated” onto newer higher density flash. Here is the part I don’t understand: the fine print on this new offering says that you can only “consolidate” up to 25% of the array’s capacity. Back to my car metaphor, last time anyone tried to upgrade 2 cylinders in a V8 engine, I can’t imagine it went well.

Lifetime Storage is a very simple and compelling program. I recommend you speak to a Tegile sales team and “take the car for a ride”.

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