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The Remarkable ROI of All-Flash Arrays

What kind of return on investment (ROI) can companies expect from switching from traditional disk storage to all-flash arrays (AFAs)? Let the numbers answer that question.

In mid-2014, Pure Storage, an all-flash enterprise storage company based in Mountain View, California, asked Forrester Research to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study calculating the potential ROI an enterprise might expect from replacing traditional disk storage with AFAs. Forrester consultants conducted in-depth interviews with IT directors at four large customer companies, all currently using Pure Storage’s FA-400 Series solution. Then they created a single composite organization, described as a global midmarket product manufacturer and distributor that had used two FA-400 arrays for a year, to illustrate Pure Storage’s TEI.

Forrester’s resulting analysis, projected over three years, found that the model organization could expect dramatic results from its AFAs. “The ROI was a very favorable 102%, with a payback period of just 14 months,” the TEI report noted. They also quantified risk-adjusted benefits of $1.9 million, including:

  • More than $1.2 million in business benefits. Specifically, Forrester calculated that AFAs let the composite organization develop new products, on average, two-and-a-half-months faster than it did before, allowing the company’s development team to complete work on two more products each year.
  • More than $238,000 in cost-avoidance savings on data center rack-space costs.
  • More than $171,000 in savings due to simplifying deployment/management tasks and eliminating the need for training and professional services.
  • More than $106,000 in cost-avoidance savings for software licenses and maintenance.
  • Nearly $86,000 in power and cooling savings.
  • Nearly $23,000 in savings due to simplifying storage “health checks” and eliminating a labor-intensive quarterly checkup process.

What about cost? Forrester estimated implementation and operating costs at $946,792, which, when subtracted from the overall benefits, left its model company with an impressive net benefit of more than $961,000. 

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