IBM… Big Step Forward with Flash Storage for the Hybrid Cloud

Eddie Cantor once said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” That is certainly the case with flash storage which has been around for many years, but high cost limited its acceptability to a limited number of high-performance/high-value-added applications. Declining prices have led to broader acceptance of flash storage for a broader base of high performance (tier 0) applications. Then came a seemingly overnight (although it was actually a couple of years) transition where flash storage was seen as capable of replacing traditional primary disk storage (tier 1). That made the economics of flash quite justifiable to data center owners and the adoption of flash storage as primary storage is proceeding rapidly. Related to this, much of the exponential growth of storage comes from new and emerging trends that are related to the Internet of Things (IoT), social media and Web services. Big data and the emerging trend of cognitive analytics thrive on not only the humongous quantity of data that these trends produce, but also the need to process much of the data very rapidly in order to derive the benefits (such as actionable, near-real-time insights) that enterprises seek in trying to gain a competitive advantage. The “cloud” in some form is likely to be the recipient of that data as traditional IT infrastructures are neither cost effective or performant enough. With the introduction of IBM FlashSystem® A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R, IBM delivers the necessary purpose-built flash storage infrastructure to meet the demands of the cloud both from a scale and performance basis. So IBM is taking the next step for flash storage beyond primary storage for traditional applications to meet the new and emerging needs of the cloud. But before we get to the new products, let’s examine IBM FlashCore™, the foundational IBM technology for all of its FlashSystem solutions and briefly review FlashSystem 900 for tier 0 application acceleration and FlashSystem V9000 as an all-flash array for tier 1 primary storage. To read the complete article, CLICK ON AUTHOR’S BYLINE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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…EMC Really is a Software Company

Storage hardware vendors like to refer to themselves as software companies. While it is true that most of them write storage software that runs on off-the-shelf hardware, most of them require that you buy their hardware to get their storage software. EMC, one of the first to claim to be a software, has evolved into a real software company. Other than the obvious software properties, like Networker or Vipr, an increasing percentage of its storage solutions are available as software. To read the complete article, CLICK THE AUTHOR’S NAME NOTE: This column was originally published in the Storage Switzerland Weekly...

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HPE: All Flash, (And) Substance Too
Mar16

HPE: All Flash, (And) Substance Too

The enterprise storage market has been in commodity hell since at least the mid-1980s, the tape, disk and now solid-state/flash version of Moore’s Law of constantly decreasing prices and margins with constantly increasing capacities and capabilities. To stem the bleeding, new and existing storage vendors have been flocking to flash technology, in hybrid — mixed flash and disk — and all-flash drives, with the latest such announcement coming from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. However, while total enterprise storage systems factory revenue declined 2.2% year over year to $10.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015, and capacity shipments increased 10.7% YoY, HPE was the only top-five vendor that grew its storage revenues.Congratulations (and I’m not saying that just because I own HP/E shares). “The enterprise storage market closed out 2015 on a slight downturn, as spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline,” said IDC’s Liz Conner, Research Manager, Storage Systems. “Over the past year, end user focus has shifted towards server-based storage, software-defined storage, and cloud-based storage. As a result, traditional enterprise storage vendors are forced to revamp and update their product portfolios to meet these shifting demands.” Flash has also been the beneficiary of enterprise storage customers, according to IDC’s most recent numbers. The All Flash Array (AFA) market generated $955.4 million in revenue during the quarter, up 71.9% YoY, while the Hybrid Flash Array (HFA) segment of the market rang up $2.9 billion in revenue, representing just over a quarter (28%) of the total market. Storage was a big part of HPE’s recent success, according to President and CEO Meg Whitman at the company’s Q1 earnings call earlier this month. “We had record revenue for 3PAR, driven by triple-digit constant currency growth in all-flash, which grew at three times the market rates.” Which brings me to HPE’s news, which included 3PAR 20840 converged flash array, StoreOnce 5500 and multi-node 6600 data protection, and the Get Thinner Guarantee program. “At the highest altitude… storage is at the heart of a lot of major datacenter transformations… it’s a great time to be in storage… for HPE”, said Brad Park, Director GTM Strategy and Enablement for HPE Storage. He told IT Trends & Analysis that he sees the move to flash as being similar as the move to virtualization and VMware a decade ago. “I think flash and the move to the all flash datacenter has a lot of parallels.” Flash has come a long way in the last five years, said Park, driven by three elements that make the all-flash datacenter very relevant: performance, affordability and the most topical, functionality. “The third piece and where we think the datacenter...

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EMC: Going Full-Flash on Primary Storage

Flash-based storage has played increasingly important roles in business computing for the better part of a decade, beginning in 2008 when EMC became the first Tier 1 vendor to develop and deliver flash options (in the form of solid state drives – SSDs) in its storage portfolio. Since then, the company has become the dominant vendor in flash-based storage with, according to IDC’s latest analysis, nearly 40% of the overall market, or nearly 3X the share of its nearest three competitors combined. So it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that EMC doubled down on its long-time bets this week by declaring 2016 to be the “Year of All-Flash,” significantly expanding the size/scope of its flash-based solutions and committing to all-flash architectures for future primary storage offerings. This is in preparation for 2020 when the company estimates that all production applications will depend on flash-based storage, relegating traditional disk to archive and content depot use cases. Is that a reasonable assumption and outlook? Just as importantly, how is EMC planning to get from here to there, and how will these newest announcements and solutions contribute to that journey? To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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EMC Continues its March to Flash

This is an interesting week in storage — there’s more to come that I can’t share just yet but I can say that I am likely to type the word “mainframe” more this week than I have done in a long time prior! That’ll make some older folks very happy as much of the intent of virtualization, convergence and clouds seems to be in line, at least conceptually, with what the mainframe was all about (now, there’s a fine IT philosophy discussion to be sure!) First out of the gate comes EMC. The vendor, probably glad to have something other than the impending Dell deal to talk about, announced a bunch of stuff today. The storage excitement is in two new flash products — a new all-flashVMAX and the much-awaited official arrival of its DSSD. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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