Every year at the Flash Memory Summit held in Santa Clara, CA, attendees get a firsthand look at the technologies that will impact the next generation of storage. This year many of the innovations centered on forthcoming interconnects that will better deliver on the performance that flash offers today. Here are DCIG’s main takeaways from this year’s event.
The current generation of all-flash arrays offers enough performance to saturate the network connections between the arrays and application servers in the data center. In many scenarios, the key limiter to all-flash array performance is storage network bandwidth. Therefore, all-flash array vendors have been quick to adopt the latest advances in storage network connectivity.
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.
DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2016-17 High End Storage Array Buyer’s Guide developed from the enterprise storage array body of research. The DCIG 2016-17 High End Storage Array Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of fifteen (15) products from seven (7) different storage vendors. Using ranking categories of Best-in-Class, Recommended and Excellent, this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly informed decision as to which high end storage array will suit their needs.
Ethernet adapters began migrating to LAN on motherboard solutions in the late 1990s. Yet this practice never took hold for other technologies like Fibre Channel. The Fibre Channel (FC) market even today, as Gen 6 (32Gb) is being introduced, is dominated by host bus adapters (HBAs). In this second installment in my interview with QLogic’s Vice President of Products, Marketing and Planning, Vikram Karvat, he explains why 32Gb FC HBAs are still installed separately in servers, as well provides insight into what new features may be released in the Gen 7 FC protocol
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.
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.
VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) stands poised to fundamentally and positively change storage management in highly virtualized environments that use VMware vSphere. However enterprises will only realize the full benefits that VVols have to offer by implementing a backend storage array that stands ready to take advantage of the VVols architecture. The HP 3PAR StoreServ family of arrays provide the virtualization-first architecture along with the simplicity of implementation and ongoing management that organizations need to realize the benefits that the VVols architecture provide short and long term.
DCIG is preparing to release the DCIG 2015-16 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide. The Buyer’s Guide will include data on 33 arrays or array series from 16 storage providers. The term “Enterprise” in the name Enterprise Midrange Array, reflects a class of storage system that has emerged offering key enterprise-class features at prices suitable for mid-sized budgets. The DCIG 2015-16 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide will provide organizations with a valuable tool to cut time and cost from the product research and purchase process.
DCIG is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural DCIG 2014-15 High End Storage Array Buyers Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of thirteen (13) different storage arrays from five different storage providers.
Enterprises investing in today’s high end storage arrays understand the value that these arrays offer in regard to their availability and performance as it can cost upwards of $5,000 for every minute that an application is offline. Applications and data must be available all of the time as any interruption in service can seriously impact a corporation’s revenue and reputation.
It has been said that everyone knows what “normal” is but that it is often easier to define “abnormal” than it is to define “normal.” To a certain degree that axiom also applies to defining “high end storage arrays.” Everyone just seems to automatically assume that a certain set of storage arrays are in the “high end” category but when push comes to shove, people can be hard-pressed to provide a working definition as to what constitutes a high end storage array in today’s crowded storage space.
Delivering always-on application availability accompanied by the highest levels of capacity, management and performance are the features that historically distinguish high end storage arrays from other storage arrays available on the market. But even these arrays struggle to easily deliver on a fundamental data center task: migrating data from one physical array to another. The introduction of the storage virtual array feature into the new HP XP7 dramatically eases this typically complex task as it facilitates data consolidations and migrations by migrating entire storage virtual arrays from one physical array frame to another while simplifying array management in the process.
DCIG is pleased to announce the March 30 release of the DCIG 2014-15 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 130 features of thirty-nine (39) different storage arrays from twenty (20) different storage providers.
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.
The time for the release of the refreshed DCIG 2014 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is rapidly approaching. As that date approached, we have been evaluating and reviewing the data on the current crop of midrange arrays that will be included in the published Buyer’s Guide (information on over 50 models) as well as the models that will be included in DCIG’s online, cloud-based Interactive Buyer’s Guide (over 100 models.) Here is a peak into some of what we are finding out about these models in regards to their ability to deliver on data center automation, VMware integration and flash memory support.
As convergence and SDE (software-defined-everything) make their way into the mainstream and add real value, organizations both large and small battle with the question of, “What should we do about our storage networks?” Stick with Fibre-Channel based approach or, as depreciation cycles end and/or new data-center locations come online, refresh to an Ethernet only solution?
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 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 100 features on 30 different storage arrays from eight (8) different storage providers. This Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that small and midsize enterprises particularly need in regards to storage arrays that will need to serve a variety of purposes within their organization. These purposes may include storing large amounts of unstructured data such as files and emails, hosting virtualized and high performance applications and even serving as a target for archival and backup data stores.