3 Questions to Ask Your Big Storage Vendor

2019 is the year of NVMe and Composable/Disaggregated Infrastructure (CDI) is ushering in the 2nd wave of NVMe adoption, offering disruptive performance, scale, and now, radical new business models. As the price per gigabyte continues to decline, drive manufacturers are increasing IOPs, throughput, and capacity in a fashion that resembles Moore’s Law. As this continues, you would expect enterprise storage systems providers (aka Big Storage) to keep up. Yet the snazzy new All-Flash Array (AFA) you are planning to purchase is not upgradable, and as you purchase more capacity, you get to pay per GB for capacity expansion and support.



Here are three questions (along with some rationale) to ask your Big Storage vendor next time they come around asking for a purchase order:

1) Can I get the latest NVMe SSD from drive maker XYZ in the array I’m thinking of purchasing?

The answer is a resounding no! Enterprise storage systems vendors have quite cleverly “trained” their customers into a very tightly controlled 3-year technology refresh cycle. But application demands are changing all the time, as are technological solutions to address these demands.

Big Storage simply wants to sell you more capacity because their business model is tied to capacity. Big Storage wants to sell you the same SSDs at 400% markup and lock you into their media. Keep in mind; they typically have zero innovation or intellectual property in the SSD. They source their drives from the same four or so, SSD OEMs in the world.

2) Can I re-deploy existing NVMe SSDs from your array, another vendors array, or from a Direct-Attached Server-Side (DAS) implementation into the system I’m about to purchase from you?

You guessed it, “no” again! You will hear all sorts of excuses about the importance of “qualifying” the drive for their array, but the reality is that this is the predatory business model that Big Storage has perpetuated. Or rather, perpetrated is a better word to describe their actions. And that is exactly what has been preventing these enterprise IT, web-scale organizations from going composable/disaggregated storage for modern applications.

3) Can I simply buy a perpetual license for the software and support on your array without paying per gigabyte for capacity?

Good luck with this one as well. The sales rep starts with this question: “How many TB do you need?” After all, their revenue and sales reps’ compensation is directly tied to them selling you more capacity at huge markups.

There is a wide variety of storage media at different price points available today. If you want to optimize for read performance, for instance, the drives will have less RAM and consequently will be cheaper. You can optimize for capacity – from 800GB (IOT/DB) to 30TB in for cheap and deep storage. Heavy write endurance drives have overprovisioned NAND flash and hence, are more expensive.



Here at Pavilion Data, we say to our customers, “we heard you, loud and clear.” Our OpenChoice Storage model is an industry disruptor. Quite possibly the most unique model to procure and deploy storage.

OpenChoice defies the conventional models by giving YOU, the storage user, the ultimate control by breaking Big Storage’s predatory business models. It has three key components:


Bring Your Own Media. Leverage your relationships with your suppliers or buy directly on the spot market. We support most major NVMe SSDs already, and we are always qualifying new SSDs as they are released.

Flat Pricing, NOT Tied to Storage Capacity

We don’t build the SSDs drive. We don’t sell the SSD drive. In fact, we have no IP there (neither does Big Storage, but they won’t openly admit that). So, we don’t believe it is fair for us to charge based per GB. Not storage, not software, not support. We guarantee our price will NEVER be tied to how much storage capacity you have in the array.

All-inclusive fixed pricing for software and support

Fixed price per Line Card. Did we say our NVMe-oF Storage Platform was built like a network switch? Pricing is guaranteed not to change for the life of the array, regardless of capacity. The subscription price is for the Media Slot License, but it also includes all HW Warranty + Support + Maintenance + all SW features and future SW upgrades, FOREVER. And YES, we support the entire system, even if we don’t sell the storage media.



Suffice to say; one size does NOT fit all when it comes to storage media. You need the choice to reuse, repurpose, redirect storage media based on their application requirements and as they vary over time.