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.
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.
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 That thinking is now so outdated.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.
Few data center technologies currently generate more buzz than hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. By combining compute, data protection, flash, scale-out, and virtualization into a single self-contained unit, organizations get the best of what each of these individual technologies has to offer with the flexibility to implement each one in such a way that it matches their specific business needs. Yet organizations must exercise restraint in how many attributes they ascribe to hyper-converged infrastructure solutions as their adoption is a journey, not a destination.
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 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.
DCIG is pleased to announce the September 29 release of the DCIG 2015-16 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-eight (28) all-flash arrays or array series from eighteen (18) enterprise storage providers.
Since the publication of the DCIG 2014-15 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide, the storage industry has embraced the term all-flash array. For that reason the forthcoming refresh of the buyer’s guide will be called the DCIG 2015-16 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide. More than terminology has changed over the last eighteen (18) months. The fresh data DCIG compiled shows that all-flash array vendors have substantially reduced the barriers to all-flash array adoption.
Almost any hybrid or all-flash storage array will accelerate performance for the applications it hosts. Yet many organizations need a storage array that scales beyond just accelerating the performance of a few hosts. They want a solution that both solves their immediate performance challenges and serves as a launch pad to using flash more broadly in their environment.
A little over a decade ago when I told people that I was managing three (3) storage arrays with eleven (11) TBs of storage under management, people looked at me with a mixture of shock and awe. Fast forward to 2015 and last week’s NAB conference in Las Vegas, NV, and it was hard to find many storage vendors who even wanted to have a conversation with a customer unless it had at least a petabyte of data under management.
At a recent analyst briefing, Micron Storage leaders identified at least three critical transitions that must take place in order to unleash the full potential of flash memory in the data center…
At a recent analyst briefing, Micron Storage leaders identified at least three critical transitions that must take place in order to unleash the full potential of flash memory in the data center and explained their strategy for accelerating those transitions.
DCIG is in the process of researching the Flash Memory Storage Array marketplace with the intention of publishing the DCIG 2015-16 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide in July 2015. Since the publication of the 2014 edition, many storage providers have come out with new models, new providers have arrived on the scene and others have exited or been acquired–warranting a fresh snapshot of this dynamic marketplace. The purpose of this courtesy notice is five-fold To inform prospective storage purchasers and storage providers that DCIG intends to publish the DCIG 2015-16 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyers Guide in July 2015. To describe the appeal of flash memory storage arrays while clarifying DCIG’s definition of the category. To disclose DCIG’s inclusion criteria and enumerate the products identified in our preliminary research. To give storage providers and end users an opportunity to inform DCIG of additional products that may qualify for inclusion or that should be excluded. To give notice of key dates…
DCIG is in the process of researching the Flash Memory Storage Array marketplace with the intention of publishing the DCIG 2015-16 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide in May 2015. Since the publication of the 2014 edition, many storage providers have come out with new models, new providers have arrived on the scene and others have exited or been acquired–warranting a fresh snapshot of this dynamic marketplace.
At the beginning of 2014, I started the year with the theme: “it’s an exciting time to be part of the DCIG team“. This was due to the explosive growth we saw in website visits and popularity of our Buyer’s Guides. That hasn’t changed. DCIG Buyer’s Guides continue to grow in popularity, but what’s even more exciting is the diversity of our new products and services. This year’s theme is diversity: a range of different things. DCIG is expanding…again…in different directions. In the past year, we have added a number of offerings to our repertoire of products and services. In addition to producing our popular Buyer’s Guides and well known blogs, we now offer Competitive Research Services, Executive Interviews, Executive White papers, Lead Generation, Special Reports and Webinars. Even more unique, DCIG now offers an RFP/RFI Analysis Software Suite. This suite gives anyone (vendor, end-user or technology reseller) the ability to license the same software that DCIG uses internally to…
At the beginning of 2014, I started the year with the theme: “it’s an exciting time to be part of the DCIG team”. This was due to the explosive growth we saw in website visits and popularity of our Buyer’s Guides. That hasn’t changed. DCIG Buyer’s Guides continue to grow in popularity, but what’s even more exciting is the diversity of our new products and services. This year’s theme is diversity: a range of different things. DCIG is expanding…again…in different directions.
Flash arrays from all providers have matured significantly in the last few years. As such, most if not all flash arrays meet or exceed the capacity and performance requirements of the application or applications attached to it. Further, flash arrays have matured to the point where questions about their stability in these small environments is less of an issue than even a few years ago. This changes the objective of what enterprises should look to accomplish when they bring in a flash array to evaluate. Rather than simply trying to confirm if it performs well and/or its software is stable, enterprises need to perform a more thorough evaluation of any flash storage array under consideration to ensure the evaluation produces results pertinent to the enterprise’s longer term objectives. To achieve this outcome, enterprises should only evaluate those flash arrays positioned to meet their short as well as their long term objectives. While enterprises still need to validate and test a…
While enterprises still need to validate and test a flash storage array’s performance and stability, the time has arrived for them to expand their evaluation to ensure that the flash storage array offers the other capabilities that they will also need in their environment. Eight other flash storage array features that should now be part of their modern day flash memory storage array check list include:
Flash is by all estimates the future of enterprise production storage with most enterprises anticipating a day in the not too distant future where they will use flash storage arrays (all-flash or hybrid) much more broadly within their data center. Yet despite flash’s many benefits (higher levels of performance, smaller data center footprint and reduced energy consumption among others,) many enterprises still only use flash in a limited capacity if they use it at all. Today I take a look at some of the factors that still contribute to an enterprise reticence to adopt flash more broadly.