Reminders

Infrastructure and Data Management

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I had a chance to spend a few days at the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara this year, and this blog highlights some of the recent announcements in the AFA space from the show. NVMe was a major theme of the show, and we are seeing more enterprise storage vendors announce NVMe-based features, products and roadmaps.


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Some recent acquisitions in the SDS market - Nutanix bought PernixData and Red Hat bought Permabit - highlight a cautionary adage I often heard when working with venture capitalists in the past. When evaluating the future prospects of a funding opportunity, VCs want to understand whether a new business idea is a standalone product or is really just a feature that will quickly be integrated into a platform (presumably owned and shipped by someone else).


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Some Thoughts on the Demise of Violin Memory

By Eric Burgener

Violin Memory, one of the early high flyers in the All Flash Array (AFA) space, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2016. This blog discusses some of the issues around their predicament, and takes a look at how the AFA market's use of custom flash modules (CFMs) (which Violin used in the Flash Storage Platform) has been impacted in enterprise-class arrays over the last couple of years.


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As flash storage and network throughput evolve through the next several technology generations, a significant imbalance looms. As organizations decide which storage architecture they should go with - network storage or hyperconverged - it is important to understand how these two technologies are evolving in their own IT infrastructure.


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Starting with the June 2016 Tracker release, we will be using an updated All Flash Array (AFA) taxonomy that is more inclusive. In a nutshell any arrays that ship from the factory in all-flash configurations and do NOT optionally support hard disk drives (HDDs) will be considered AFAs. There will be three classes (or types) of AFAs, defined based on pedigree, to help customers understand key differences between them.


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Performance Games?

By Eric Burgener

Performance numbers released by vendors about their storage arrays are often based on "hero tests" that do not provide much help in communicating how a system will perform on real-world workloads. Should the vendor community strive for more realistic tests, or should customers come to better understand the limitations of existing tests? This blog explores these topics based on an informal lunch time round table discussion at IDC Directions West on March 2.


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The Evolving All Flash Array (AFA) Market

By Eric Burgener

Having just completed an extensive evaluation of what IDC considers to be the relevant players in the AFA market with the IDC AFA MarketScape, several things are becoming increasingly clear to me about this market:


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Industry pundits have talked about the idea of separating the control and data planes to move administrators away from having to manage storage differently in different silos, but Primary Data, a Los Altos, California-based startup, has introduced a data virtualization platform that promises to do exactly that in a truly storage-agnostic manner.


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The debate rages about just how expensive flash storage is compared to performance-intensive hard disk drives (15K RPM HDDs). When purchased for use in All Flash Arrays (AFAs), many vendors are charging (list price) in the range of $5/GB for raw flash capacity. Meanwhile, 15K RPM HDDs intended for use with enterprise-class storage arrays are in the $.80/GB range or so. To purchasing agents in enterprises, it seems clear that flash is still way more expensive, right?

Wrong. In fact...


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All Flash Arrays: Custom Flash Modules vs SSDs

By Eric Burgener

AFA vendors have chosen storage architectures based around either the use of custom flash modules or solid state drives, and this blog post discusses the impact of that choice on storage densities.


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IDC's Infrastructure and Data Management Blog is the home for IDC storage analysts to share their thoughts on technology, market and industry trends, announcements, movers and shakers, innovative ideas, and recent research.

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