Part 2 of 4: IBM’s Economic Case For All-Flash Arrays
Just as tape storage is not dead, so the appearance of IBM‘s new Flash initiative and investment does not mean that disk is dead. But similar to tape, disk‘s role is changing. Use cases, such as active archiving for large capacity requirements, are likely to continue. That means that large capacity disks are likely to continue serving useful purposes. But Tier 1 hard disk drives‘ days are numbered (although somebody will probably find some specialized use cases for them).
However, the big news in IBM‘s announcement is about all-flash arrays winning the economic heavyweight fight over all-disk Tier 1 arrays. IBM refers to this as a tipping point and they are right, so we should expect to be inundated by all-flash array vendors as they seek to gain market share. IT customers should benefit from the competition, but they should also plan a qualification and adoption strategy that allows them to enjoy and profit from these innovations at a pace with which they are comfortable.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.