Dell is sending flash array prices tumbling.
The Round Rock, Texas-based IT systems provider announced today that it has begun shipping all-flash configurations of its SC Series arrays, first announced in November, with prices that start at just $25,000. Hitting that price point makes the new hardware the most affordable mid-range array from any major data storage systems vendor, the company claims.
The feat also places snappy application performance and enterprise-grade storage management capabilities within reach of more IT organizations. Arguing that "price has been the number one barrier to enterprise flash adoption" for years, Alan Atkinson, general manager of Dell Storage, said in a statement that Dell is "knocking down these walls to make the high performance, reliability and smaller footprint of flash practical for almost any workload."
"As Dell continues to bring down the cost of enterprise class storage, we now offer customers the industry’s easiest to use and lowest cost entry point into mid-range, all-flash enterprise arrays," Atkinson continued.
In outfitting their SANs with all-flash arrays, customers have two Dell Storage SC4020 AFA (all-flash array) configurations to choose from. For $25,000, the SC4020 Entry-Level AFA provides 2.8 TB of capacity, comprised of six 480 GB read-intensive solid-state drives (SSDs).
For an extra $10,000, businesses can add more capacity and improved write performance. An SC4020 Flash-Optimized AFA multi-tier configuration provides 4 TB of all-flash storage by bundling six 480 GB read-intensive SSDs with an additional six 200GB write-intensive SSDs. Prices start at $35,000.
Both configurations are based on Dell's 24-bay, dual-controller SC4020 array. The 2U unit ships will standard software and is covered by three years of Dell Copilot support services. Customers can boost capacity by adding more SSDs, or if desired, traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) for a hybrid configuration. Regardless of the setup, Dell assures that the SC4020 will always enlist the fastest tier of SSD storage to handle incoming writes and "hot reads."
Dell's foray into affordable all-flash arrays marks a turning point for flash storage in the data center, according to Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Mark Peters.
In prepared remarks, Peters said the company's "ability to disrupt the storage industry with its extremely attractive and low entry price for its all-flash storage offerings is made all the more impressive by its inclusion of enterprise-class features and functionality." Affordability aside, standard Dell Copilot support makes the new hardware a compelling proposition for organizations considering making the switch to all-flash storage solutions, he added.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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