In 2014, high-density flash memory storage such as the 4TB Viking Technology αlpha SSD will accelerate the flash-based disruption of the storage industry and of the data center. Technology providers that engage in a fresh high-density flash-storage-enabled rethinking of their products will empower savvy data center architects to substantially improve the performance, capacity and efficiency of their data centers. Businesses will benefit by reducing the cost of running their IT infrastructures while increasing their capacity to serve customers and generate profits.
Recognized as an innovator in storage system technology, Thomas Isakovich sat down with DCIG to discuss the development, capabilities, and innovation in Nimbus Data’s latest release: the Gemini X. In this first blog entry, he guides us through the development of the X-series, and where he sees it fitting into the current market.
The key for many enterprises today is to identify a storage provider that delivers the best of what next generation hybrid storage arrays have to offer. However, technology alone is not enough for enterprise organizations. This storage provider also has to meet internal financial stability and long-term viability requirements as well as deliver enterprise-class technical service and support.
One of the most common requests that DCIG gets from its readers is to include the actual cost of storage systems in its Buyer’s Guides. The reason DCIG continues to decline that request and only includes starting list prices is that most storage systems may be configured in multiple different ways. This makes it impossible to arrive at a definitive price point. The second part in DCIG’s interview series with iXsystem’s Jordan Hubbard illustrates this point as he discusses how the availability of multiple different storage configurations and services trumps a cookie cutter approach to buying storage every time.
Anyone who managed IT infrastructures in the late 1990′s or early 2000′s probably still remembers how external storage arrays were largely a novelty reserved for high end enterprises with big data centers and deep pockets. Fast forward to today and a plethora of storage arrays exist in a variety of shapes and sizes at increasingly low price points. As such it can be difficult to distinguish between them. To help organizations sort them out, my blog entry today provides a primer on the types of storage arrays currently available on the market.
Anytime DCIG prepares a Buyer’s Guide – whether a net new Buyer’s Guide or a refresh of an existing Buyer’s Guide – it always uncovers a number of interesting trends and developments about that technology. Therefore it is no surprise (at least to us anyway) that as DCIG prepares to release its DCIG 2014 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that it observed a number of interesting data points about enterprise midrange arrays. As DCIG looks forward to releasing this Buyer’s Guide, we wanted to share some of these observations and insights that we gained as we prepared this Guide as well as why we reached some of the conclusions that we did.
Earlier this week Cisco officially became a storage provider when it announced its intention to acquire privately held WHIPTAIL Technologies. While this may have come as a surprise to some, rumors that Cisco was looking to acquire a storage company were already circulating in 2012 at Storage Networking World (SNW) as I discussed in a blog entry last year. So now that Cisco is in the process of becoming a storage company, what are the ramifications of this change in its product offerings?
As we were researching arrays for inclusion in the DCIG 2013 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide we kept encountering an intriguing group of companies that had designed–or were developing–storage arrays from the ground up to realize the performance benefits of an all flash array, but with storage capacities and price points that would bring the benefits of flash memory storage to a broader range of businesses. The resulting hybrid storage arrays achieve this balance of performance, capacity, and cost by intelligently combining flash memory with large capacity disk drives in a single storage system.
As we have been working on the development of a DCIG Buyer’s Guide for Hybrid Storage Arrays, it has been interesting to see the different approaches that the vendors are taking as they seek to leverage flash memory plus traditional hard drives to deliver previously unheard of IOPS and ultra-low latencies at a cost per GB that makes sense to a broad range of businesses. The “secret sauce” varies from vendor to vendor, but in every case it involves sophisticated caching and/or automated storage tiering software.
To say or imply that NetApp was in any near term danger of falling from its position as a storage leader would be a gross mischaracterization of its current condition. However it would be accurate to say that the industry lacked clarity as to how NetApp would respond to the encroachment of flash memory storage arrays on the high performance end of storage. After attending the NetApp Industry Analyst event this week it is now clear that to address this challenge NetApp plans to go back to its roots to lay the foundation for its future.
Last week’s acquisition of NexGen Storage by Fusion-io was greeted with quite a bit of fanfare by the storage industry. But as an individual who has covered Fusion-io for many years and talked one-on-one with their top executives on multiple occasions, its acquisition of NexGen signaled that Fusion-io wanted to do more than deliver an external storage array that had its technology built-in. Rather Fusion-io felt it was incumbent for it to take action and accelerate the coming data center transformation that it has talked and written about for years.
In May 2010 DCIG released its first-ever Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide in which we covered 70+ models from over 20 vendors. Fast forward just three (3) short years later and DCIG is on track to release not one, not two, not three no, not even four Buyer’s Guides on enterprise midrange arrays but five distinct Buyer’s Guides on this topic! So what has changed in just three (3) short years that DCIG feels the need to produce so many? To understand this requires a closer look at the forces that are driving the evolution and revolution in enterprise midrange arrays.
DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its inaugural DCIG 2013 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks 85 features of 34 different storage arrays from ten (10) different storage providers.
2012 saw a lot of discussion–some would say hype–over flash memory-based storage for the enterprise. Vendors are promoting various approaches to bringing flash memory storage to the data center. DCIG believes that Flash Memory Storage Arrays are poised to address not only special I/O-intensive use cases, but to begin displacing traditional storage arrays in many data centers.
Bad news is only bad until you hear it, then it’s just information followed by opportunity. Information may arrive in political, personal, technological and economic forms. It creates opportunity which brings people, vision, ideas and investment together. When thinking about a future history of 2013, three (3) opportunities come to mind.
I have disclosed the blog entries that have earned an honorable mention on DCIG’s website for the number of page views they received in 2012. I have also already revealed the Top 5 blog entries written in 2012 that were the most frequently read in 2012. So it is time today to begin to reveal the Top 10 most frequently viewed blog entries on DCIG’s website in 2012 regardless of what year they were published, starting with numbers 6 – 10.
One of the unique aspects about running a blog site that primarily does analysis as opposed to commenting and covering today’s news is that the most read blog entries on DCIG’s site each year are rarely from the current year. This year was no exception as only one of the Top 5 blog entries written in 2012 made it into the Top 10 of DCIG’s most read blog entries of 2012 that I will start to reveal in tomorrow’s blog entry.
SNW 2012 revealed a dynamic industry that is innovating across all storage tiers. From incorporating super-low-latency flash memory into the data center to new tape formats that essentially turn tape libraries into high-latency disk drives, lots of talent is being applied to meet the growing demands that enterprises have for their storage systems.
As DCIG makes its final preparations for the release of its inaugural Purpose-Built Flash Memory Appliance Buyer’s Guide, we have had a number of conversations internally about what the criteria for product inclusion and exclusion in this Buyer’s Guide will be. As we do so, our conversation almost always turns to ways in which these purpose-built flash memory appliances will impact organizations and their decision making and buying habits.
To say with any degree of certainty what technologies will be hot in the next 6 – 12 months generally takes equal amounts of smarts and industry insight coupled with a little bit of luck sprinkled in to get it right. So as I compare what I forecast earlier this year to what I see taking place now, I was certainly right on some points but premature in predicting others. So today with the midpoint of 2012 upon us, I thought I would take a look at the five specific technology trends impacting organizations right now.