Reminders

Infrastructure and Data Management

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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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This blog post discusses flash-enabled storage architectures like the new EMC VMAX All-Flash that will continue to underpin the modern datacenter, but additionally enable new workloads and drive economic benefits. Flash has compelled storage suppliers like EMC to go back to the drawing board – to re-engineer storage architectures and capitalize on the transformational value of flash. The results are systems like the VMAX All Flash, which delivers unprecedented levels of performance and scale while bringing the gold standard of VMAX services that customers have come to rely on.


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Recent data from IDC research shows that show why dedicated IP storage networks have become the preferred industry solution not only for today’s workloads, but for the future growth in new applications that businesses will require. The bottom line is that businesses already utilize storage-optimized networks for mission-critical storage traffic—and increasingly they must treat business-critical applications in the same manner.


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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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The shift to the 3rd Platform will be remarkable but disruptive. IDC predicts that virtually all new strategic IT investments made by enterprises through 2020 will go toward 3rd Platform technologies and solutions. The software-defined IT infrastructure that supports next-generation 3rd Platform applications must be agile, resilient, scalable on demand, and manageable in a capex-friendly fashion. As suppliers prepare to deliver this next-generation infrastructure, they'll need to focus on providing value via a portfolio of offerings — each designed to serve as a cog in a "cloud scale" datacenter. The ScaleIO Node from EMC is an example of such an offering. The 3rd Platform is the new core of IT market growth — and software-defined storage (infrastructure) is a crucial element of that growth.


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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 data protection and recovery software market is often regarded as staid, saturated and even boring. If that's the case, why is the market growing so rapidly and the competition so robust? This post identifies the four keys reasons for this dynamic.


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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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IT organizations are jumping on cloud-based DR because of the attractive price points. However, managers must realize that the systems being contracted for may be inadequate for production operations in the event of an actual disaster.


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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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