Comparing The Costs Of WS2012 Storage Spaces With FC/iSCSI SAN

Microsoft has released a report to help you “understand the cost and performance difference between SANs and a storage solution built using Windows Server 2012 and commodity hardware”.  In WS2012, they are referring to Storage Spaces and Scale-Out File Server.

From my own perspective, we’ve found the JBOD + Storage Spaces solution to be much cheaper than SAN storage, both on the upfront side (initial acquisition) and long term.  Adding disks and trays is cheaper – you get any manufacturer’s disk on the JBOD’s HCL rather than the 60% more expensive Dell/HP/etc disk from the same factory but with a “special” (lockdown) firmware.

ESG Lab tested the performance readiness and cost-effectiveness of Microsoft’s new storage solution and compared the results with two common storage solutions: an ISCSI and FC SAN. For performance testing, ESG Lab tested a tier-1 virtualized Microsoft SQL Server 2012 application workload and witnessed a negligible performance difference between all the tested storage configurations. In fact, when testing with as close to the exact same storage configuration as possible across each of the tested configurations, ESG Lab witnessed a slight performance benefit with Microsoft’s storage solution over iSCSI and FC SAN solutions.

ESG Lab also calculated what organizations could expect to spend when initially purchasing each storage configuration. The price difference was impressive. ESG Lab found that Microsoft’s storage solution can save organizations as much as 50% when compared with traditional iSCSI and FC SAN solutions. Another eye-opener for ESG Lab was around a features comparison between the storage configurations. With the upcoming release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft’s storage configuration is beginning to match traditional storage offerings feature for feature.

With similar performance, a matching feature set, less management complexity, and 50% cost-savings over a SAN, Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 file server cluster with Storage Spaces over SMB 3.0 introduces a potentially disruptive storage solution to address any customer’s needs.


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