DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its 2016-17 FC SAN Utility Storage Array Buyer’s Guide and 2016-17 Utility SAN Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that each weight more than 100 features and rank 62 arrays from thirteen (13) different storage providers. These Buyer’s Guide Editions are products of DCIG’s updated research methodology where DCIG creates specific Buyer’s Guide Editions based upon a larger, general body of research on a topic. As past Buyer’s Guides have done, it continues to rank products as Recommended, Excellent, Good and Basic as well as offer the product information that organizations need to make informed buying decisions on FC SAN Utility and multiprotocol Utility SAN storage arrays.
Over the years organizations have taken a number of steps to better manage the data that they already possess as well as prepare themselves for the growth they expect to experience in the future. These steps usually involve either deleting data that they have determined they do not need or should not keep while archiving the rest of it on a low cost media such as optical, tape or even with public cloud storage providers.
Fibre Channel (FC) and multiprotocol SAN storage arrays configured as utility storage arrays represent a maturation of the storage array market. Storage arrays using hard disk drives (HDDs) are still the predominant media used to host and service high performance applications. But with the advent of flash and solid state drives (SSDs), this reality is rapidly changing. Flash-based arrays are rapidly supplanting all-HDD storage arrays to host business-critical, performance sensitive applications as flash-based arrays can typically provide sub-two millisecond read and write response times.
However, the high levels of performance these flash-based arrays offer comes with a price – up to 10x more than all HDD-based utility storage arrays. This is where HDD-based arrays in general, and SAN utility storage arrays in particular, find a new home. These array may host and service applications with infrequently accessed or inactive data such as archived, backup and file data.
Many if not most organizations still adhere to a “keep it all forever” mentality when it comes to managing data for various reasons. These factors have led organizations to adopt a “delete nothing” approach to managing their data as this is often their most affordable and prudent option. The challenge with this technique is that as data volumes continue to grow and retention periods remain non-existent, organizations need to identify solutions on which they can affordably store all of this data.
Thanks to the continuing drop per GB in disk’s cost that day has essentially arrived. The emergence of highly available and reliable utility storage arrays that scale into the petabytes at a cost of well below $1/GB opens the doors for organizations to confidently and cost-effectively keep almost any amount of data online and accessible for their business needs.
Utility storage arrays also offer low millisecond response times (8 – 10 ms) for application reads and writes. This is more than adequate performance for most archival or infrequently accessed data. These arrays deliver millisecond response times while supporting hundreds of terabytes if not petabytes of storage capacity at under a dollar per gigabyte.
The 2016-17 FC SAN Utility Storage Array Buyer’s Guide specifically covers those storage arrays that support the Fibre Channel storage networking protocol. The 2016-17 Utility SAN Storage Array Buyer’s Guide scores the arrays for their support for both FC and iSCSI storage networking protocols. All of the included utility storage arrays are available in highly available, reliable configurations and list for $1/GB or less. While the arrays in this Guide may support other storage networking protocols, other specific protocols were not weighted in arriving in the conclusions in these Buyer’s Guide Editions.
DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the SAN utility storage array marketplace. It identifies the significant benefits organizations can expect to realize by implementing a utility storage array, key features that organizations should evaluate on these arrays and includes brief observations about the distinctive features of each array. The storage array rankings provide organizations with an “at-a-glance” overview of this marketplace. DCIG complements these rankings with standardized, one-page data sheets that facilitate side-by-side product comparisons so organizations may quickly get to a short list of products that may meet their requirements.
Registration to access these Buyer’s Guides may be done via the DCIG Analysis Portal which includes access to DCIG Buyer’s Guides in PDF format as well as the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). Using the IBG, organizations may dynamically drill down and compare and contrast FC SAN and Utility SAN arrays by generating custom reports, including comprehensive strengths and weaknesses reports that evaluate a much broader base of features that what is found in the published Guide. Both the IBG and this Buyer’s Guide may be accessed after registering for the DCIG Analysis Portal.