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Can GSA Schedules Provide Insight into Reasonable Storage Product Costs?

by Administrator on April 21, 2008

In response to my previous post, a reader suggested that governmental pricing for gear might provide guidance into what storage gear costs.  I responded that I doubted that the gov was getting the best prices available.  Here is the truth of it.

In the quote I posted, then redacted, the customer was getting 65.5% off the MSRP of a NetApp Filer.  According to this website, which provides price schedules provided to government by a GSA reseller/contractor, they are offering the same gear to the Fed for about 30 to 35% off list.

You can search out what prices federal contractors are charging for GSA-scheduled gear by using this Google search string. 

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=GSA+NETAPP+&btnG=Search

The numbers are published.  Get creative and change the vendor name to see other products and pricing.

Remember, my interest in this is less about finding the cheapest price than it is about coming up with a reasonable baseline on product cost that I can use to calculate cost per GB for storing data on any particular platform. 

I am keenly aware that different folks pay different prices for the same stuff, sometimes as a function of volume purchasing, or because they caught a sales rep at the end of quarter, or because the direct sales organization of a vendor wants to get the deal that the channel “partner” created.  This will never change.  Without some sort of idea, however, of how much flexibility is in the pricing model, we can never generalize about the cost per GB of a platform or do apples to apples pricing comparisons — which is, of course, what the industry wants.

Remember the old mushroom line:  keep them in the dark and feed them shite.

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