All Flash Array Vendors are currently shooting up like mushrooms from the ground. The reason is clear: the market is currently about US $ 2 billion in size and has a growth rate of 56%. Especially in the storage industry, where there was just a 1-digit growth in the last couple of years, it’s a huge growth opportunity. So it’s no wonder that the venture capital is being very generous invested in this technology. It’s a little bit like the “dot com bubble” in a smaller scale. As a customer, you quickly lose the overview and there is a lot of uncertainty. Should I put my bet on a startup, or start my journey into the all flash world with one of the established manufacturers? I am sure that this is actually a very common discussion in the IT departments.
Well, there are quite objective criteria:
– Is the company financially stable?
– Is Onsite support ensured?
– What about 24 * 7 availability?
I think that is the basis to build any business relationship with a young company. But I strongly recommend to have a close look at some technical aspects as well.
A very important component of Storage in general is the application integration. Snapshots, cloning or replication of applications is the bread and butter for many administrators. If these standard tasks are performed on the storage without any application integration, this is in my opinion a step back in the Stone Age. The lack of flexibility in terms of connectivity (SAN / NAS) is no longer appropriate today. To connect Oracle DBs or VMware Servers via NFS is standard in Datacenters for years and why should I go back into the old SAN only world?
So what remains at the bottom line for startups? These are mostly things that are a “nice to have” in enterprise environments (such as 100% inline duplication), but cannot replace the lack of application integration or the multiprotocol capability (Unified Storage) by far. From the perspective of NetApp there is another important aspect: Our clustered Data ONTAP enables non-disruptive migration of data and applications from Flash to disk and in the cloud.
Because one thing is certain: Nothing is as constant as change. Who can say for sure that the application, which is now on an all flash array, will still need the performance tomorrow?
I think we can all agree: we want no inflexible, isolated storage silos any more.
A Video Blog from my colleague Matt Watts:
A happy customer: Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
And an independent opinion from an Analyst:
From the Product, Solutions and Alliances Marketing EMEA team