TCO SAN Storage in DC

Hello there,
I’m currently consulting a family member with their work IT. They have a fully MS Remote environment for 15 people. Their Windows Remote Servers are located in a high security / availability DC (they are a tax consulting firm in Germany… so DATEV if that’s anything for you). This Remote enviromnet is fully managed by a MSP. I was looking at the billing and found out they are paying 1EUR/GB/month (+ VAT) for SAN Storage. Since they (apparently) have almost a TB of Data on that SAN Storage this is a hefty sum per month. Just to clarify: This is just Storage. They also pay for VPN Connection/Remote Desktop Seats/Software Licences and Support.

I don’t have any references what a normal price would be for “Enterprise SAN Storage in a DC”. But even for redundant NVMe Enterprise RAID with Backup this seems high to me.

Does anybody here have references what they are paying / have been paying / what normal pricing would be? Thank you.

1 Like

Cost per GB depends on the size - the more storage they need the cheaper per GB. (Once you get into petabytes and up it gets reasonable).

If I needed something like this, I’d reach out to Marcan - among other things he used to have retainers with various institutions and among others used to run ceph clusters - they still have contacts in Europe/Asia who do this kind of work.

Your post also mentions windows sysadmin work, presumably they just have virtualized windows boxes they spin up that use storage over iSCSI or NBD or some such thing?

Are they also looking to swap their windows setup?

We would need to look at the SLA to have an opinion on that, e.g

  • How redundant that 1gb of storage is
  • Who owns and is responsible for keeping a remote copy up to date
  • Does that include off-site backups, that I imagine will be a requirement for a tax management firm in Germany?
  • What is the guaranteed uptime?

Depending on all these (and maybe someone that didn’t come to mind but that apply to the specific requirements for the tax firm) it may not be a high price at all … We’re talking 1000 eur a month/12000 eur/year…If he had to rent space In a datacenter that would probably cover the cost of internet connectivity, maybe power and maybe rack space…
In a cloud environment costs would be 1/20 of that but everything from backups, off-site, data integrity and security would be on your friend’s it department, that I imagine he/she doesn’t have …

Thanks for the input. I will have to get more info on the SLAs.
Right now I only have the bill which just states “SAN” 1EUR/GB/Month. No mention of availability, backup, service.

The whole package is not specified to hardware, but everything is “*-as-a-service” billed monthly by users and/or storage usage. This MSP has dozens if not hundreds of costumers in this DC.

I will update if I have morge info. As to @risk questions wether switching from windows setup is possible: No. Tax software in germany is bound to windows as gollum to the one ring. :wink:

You should look at the actual contract where all these things, plus who is responsible for what, should be described, including the amount of time the service can be unavailable before the msp starts being accountable for it. Also if importance is who is responsible for backups, if any, and whether the infrastructure is deployed in a single location or whether it has a Dr site that can be brought online if anything happens to the main site. That is immediately a X10 on your cloud storage cost … especially if off-site backups are included …
Also there should be a mention in the contract for who is responsible of meeting the dart standards…

1 Like

I wasn’t suggesting swapping away from windows, but was wondering if they’d be looking to change windows admins in addition to changing storage admins. (I know plenty of individuals proficient in network/dc/cloud/linux stuff … among them, none have done any windows admin work in the last decade… there’s a surprising lack of overlap, this means instead of 2 people you need 4 or 5, which raises costs).

1 Like

Ok, I have some news. Basically our current MSP is shit. We have SLAs with 99% workdays 7 - 17 which they argue (and state in the sla legal documents) availability is given if you can ping the server. Doesn’t matter if the applications crash because the Server is running our of RAM. In a conversation with a tech he dropped phrases like “A Server”,“B Server” and VMWare SAN which I concluded they don’t have a HA Setup, but just 2+ Servers with some wonky VMWare Setup and vSAN over those Servers.
Reason why the Storage exploded is because the oneDrives are synced in that RDP Enviroment. Good thing I backed some of the computers to oneDrive with veeam…

We got some quotes from other vendors and got 0,15 - 0,2 EUR/GB/month SAN Storage, with guaranteed Uptime of 99,9% 24/7 and certified HA Setup. Reminder: Currently we are paying 1EUR/GB/month with shitty service.

So we will try to switch asap. Thanks for your feedback.

I host stuff with this company, I have no affiliation with them other than I use the service.

Dacentec

A SAN would just take a number of Us, so you can do the math. Discounted rates per rack unit apply as you move right.

Network speeds also cost more:
image

As does power:
image

Up to 4U of space for a single server"
image