Early in my IT career, a friend who owns a software company told me he had been informed by a peer that he wasn’t charging enough for his software. This peer advised him to adopt a “flinch-based” approach to pricing. He said my friend should start with a base licensing cost that meets margin requirements, and then keep adding on other costs until the prospective customer flinches. My friend found that approach offensive, and so do I.
The all-flash array market has settled down considerably in the last few years. While there are more all-flash arrays (90+ models) and vendors (20+) than ever before, the ways in which these models can be grouped and classified has also become easier. As DCIG looks forward to releasing a series of Buyer’s Guides covering all-flash arrays in the coming months, it can break these all-flash arrays into five (and soon to be six) general classifications based upon their respective architectures and use cases.
Simplicity is one of those terms that I love to hate. On one hand, people generally want the products that they buy to be “simple” to deploy and manage so they can “set them and forget them.” The problem that emerges when doing product evaluations, especially when evaluating all-flash arrays(AFAs), is determining what features contribute to making AFAs simple to deploy and manage. The good news is that over the last few years five key features have emerged that organizations can use to measure the simplicity of an AFA to select the right one for their environment.
Many organizations are using all-flash arrays in their data centers today. When asked about the benefits they have achieved, two benefits are almost always top of mind. The first benefit mentioned is the increase in application performance. Indeed, increased performance was the primary rationale for the purchase of the all-flash array. The second benefit came as an unexpected bonus; the decrease in time spent managing storage. As organizations consolidate many applications on each all-flash array; and are discovering that data tiering and quality of service features are important for preserving these benefits.
Hybrid and all-disk arrays still have their place in enterprise data centers but all-flash arrays are “where it’s at” when it comes to hosting and accelerating the performance of production applications. Once reserved only for applications that could cost-justify these arrays, continuing price erosion in the underlying flash media coupled with technologies such as compression and deduplication have put these arrays at a price point within reach of almost any size enterprise. As that occurs, all-flash arrays from Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage are often on the buying short lists for many companies. Those companies considering these two products can turn to a recent DCIG Pocket Analyst Report that compares these two products to help them make an informed buying decision.
Next-generation all-flash arrays will provide dramatic improvements in performance and density over the prior generation of all-flash arrays. These new levels of performance and density will bring the benefits of real-time analysis to a whole new set of problems and organizations, creating tremendous value. They will also enable organizations to achieve significant budget savings through a fresh wave of data center consolidations. But unlocking the ability of any next-generation array to deliver these savings depends on a key set of features that enable workload consolidation and simplified management.
While the overall economy and even the broader technology sector largely boom, the enterprise storage space is feeling the pinch. As storage revenues level off and even drop, many people with whom I spoke at this past week’s HPE Discover 2017 event shared their thoughts as to what is causing this situation. The short answer: there does not appear to be a single reason for the pullback in storage revenue but rather a perfect storm of events that is contributing to this situation. The good news is that this retrenching should ultimately benefit end-users.
The DCIG 2017-18 Small/Midsize Enterprise All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-four (24) small/midsize enterprise-class all-flash arrays that achieved rankings of Recommended or Excellent. These products come from eleven (11) vendors including Dell EMC, Fujitsu, iXsystems, Kaminario, NEC, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Pivot3, Pure Storage, Tegile and Tintri. This Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which all-flash storage array will suit their needs.
If you assume that leading enterprise midrange all-flash arrays (AFAs) support deduplication, your assumption would be correct. But if you assume that these arrays implement and deliver deduplication’s features in the same way, you would be mistaken. These differences in deduplication should influence any all-flash array buying decision as deduplication’s implementation affects the array’s total effective capacity, performance, usability, and, ultimately, your bottom line.
A few years ago when all-flash arrays (AFAs) were still gaining momentum, newcomers like Nimbus Data appeared poised to take the storage world by storm. But as the big boys of storage (Dell, HDS, and HPE, among others,) entered the AFA market, Nimbus opted to retrench and rethink the value proposition of its all-flash arrays. Its latest AFA models, the ExaFlash D-Series, is one of the outcomes of that repositioning as these arrays answer the call of today’s hosting providers. These arrays deliver the high levels of availability, flexibility, performance, and storage density that they seek backed by one of the lowest cost per GB price points in the market.
The DCIG 2017-18 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-five (25) products from twelve (12) different storage vendors. Using ranking categories of Recommended, Excellent and Good this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which all-flash storage array will suit their needs.
In early November DCIG finalized its research into all-flash arrays and, in the coming weeks and months, will be announcing its rankings in its various Buyer’s Guide Editions as well as in its new All-flash Array Product Ranking Bulletins. It as DCIG prepares to release its all-flash array rankings that we also find ourselves remarking just how quickly interest in HDD-based arrays has declined just this year alone. While we are not ready to declare HDDs dead by any stretch, finding any sparks that represent interest or innovation in hard disk drives (HDDs) is getting increasingly difficult.
In today’s enterprise data centers, when one thinks performance, one thinks flash. That’s great. But that thought process can lead organizations to think that “all-flash arrays” are the only option they have to get high levels of performance for their applications. That thinking is now so outdated. The latest server-based storage solution from Datrium illustrates how accelerating application performance just became insanely easy by simply clicking a button versus resorting to upgrading some hardware in their environment.
In the last couple of weeks X-IO announced a number of improvements to its iglu line of storage arrays – namely flash optimized controllers and stretch clustering. But what struck me in listening to X-IO present the new features of this array was in how it kept referring to the iglu as “intelligent.” While that term may be accurate, when I look iglu’s architecture and data management features and consider them in light of what small and midsize enterprises need today, I see the iglu’s architecture as “thoughtful.”
All-flash arrays, cloud computing, cloud storage, and converged and hyper-converged infrastructures may grab many of today’s headlines. But the decades old Fibre Channel protocol is still a foundational technology present in many data centers with it holding steady in the U.S. and even gaining increased traction in countries such as China. In this first installment, QLogic’s Vice President of Products, Marketing and Planning, Vikram Karvat, provides some background as to why fibre channel (FC) remains relevant and how all-flash arrays are one of the forces driving the need for 32Gb FC.
Almost all size organizations now view flash as a means to accelerate application performance in their infrastructure … and for good reason. Organizations that deploy flash typically see increases in performance by factor of up to 10x. But while many all-flash storage arrays can deliver these increases in performance, savvy organizations must prepare to do more than simply increase workload performance. They need to identify solutions that help them better troubleshoot their emerging flash infrastructure as well as future proof their investment in flash by better modeling anticipated application workloads on all-flash arrays being evaluated before they are acquired.
DCIG is pleased to announce the November 17 release of the DCIG 2015-16 Sub-100TB All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of thirteen (13) arrays from six (6) different storage providers. Using ranking categories of Best-in-Class, Recommended, Excellent, Good and Basic this 42-page Buyer’s Guide offers all of the information an organization should need to make a highly informed decision as to which all-flash arrays will suit their needs.
DCIG is pleased to announce the November 17 release of the DCIG 2015-16 Sub-250TB All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of nineteen (19) arrays from ten (10) different storage providers. Using ranking categories of Best-in-Class, Recommended, Excellent, Good and Basic this 49 page Buyer’s Guide offers all of the information an organization should need to make a highly informed decision as to which all-flash arrays will suit their needs.
DCIG’s recently published 2015-16 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide has been getting a lot of attention, including some pretty harsh criticisms. DCIG published a blog entry earlier this week that addressed the false allegations that DCIG Buyer’s Guides are rigged “pay-to-say” research with predetermined outcomes. Today’s blog entry explains the proper role of a DCIG Buyer’s Guide, and gives vendors an opportunity to provide constructive feedback.
DCIG appreciates the attention given to its recently released DCIG 2015-16 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide. This type of dialog and feedback is absolutely critical in helping DCIG, the industry as a whole, and most importantly, the buyers and the organizations for which they work to make informed buying decisions about all-flash arrays.