Solid state not yet on solid ground

But some companies could find a strong ROI despite the high price tag, analysts say.

Raphael Garcia, a backup and storage administrator at the Queens Library, said solid-state technology could save his organization money over the long run, but as a public entity, the library lacks start-up funding.

"Cost is still kicking us in the butt," he said.

The use of the more rugged solid-state drives in laptops for library personnel could result in long-term savings, he said. "They could cost more initially, but then they could save money on maintenance and repairs," Garcia said.

A systems administrator at a New York-based financial services firm, who asked that his name not be used, said his company has been eyeing solid-state storage technology but hasn't yet decided whether to implement it.

"My company doesn't like bleeding-edge," he said. "They like proven technologies. Down the road, we're going to look at it hard, think hard and reassess the benefits, which may be many."

Ultimately, the performance benefits of the technology could force the firm to spend the extra dollars. "Without speed, we're dead," he said.

Oppenheimer & Co. doesn't need the new technology at this point, said Michael McCardle, storage technology manager at the New York-based financial services company.

"A lot of bleeding-edge technologies are real nice," he said. "But when you boil it all down, how much of it do you really need?"

Today, Oppenheimer has hard drive storage technologies that provide adequate speed at costs that can be rationalized for the company's 4,000 or so users, McCardle said. "It goes back to the needs of the business," he said. "If the need doesn't exist, then the interest is minimal."

The company's storage technology needs are re-evaluated when business requirements change, but "the purse strings are very tight these days," he noted. "Until we feel pain that will drive the need for a technology refresh," a move to emerging technologies like solid-state storage won't happen.

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