12
Feb
2015

Storage start-ups: style but no substance?

But, while the technology continues to get more affordable and more reliable, it feels like a new storage solution appears on the market on a weekly basis. - Thursday, 12 February 2015 Storage Industry

Flash as a technology has undoubtedly played a big part in transforming the storage market. Looking back at the limitations of mid-range systems just a couple of years ago (mainly cost, performance and scalability), things are definitely moving in the right direction.

 

More options, difficult decisions

Is this a good thing for customers? In terms of choice, I guess you could say yes.

Going back just a couple of years, for a mid-size organisation there were only really 3-4 solutions that were credible. But this increased choice makes the job of an IT decision maker more and more difficult. 

 

Not least because these days vendor marketing seems to be:

a) extremely compelling and / or

b) filled with the same messaging as everyone else.

 

Because of this, we are faced with an industry where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell style over substance – and that’s a dangerous thing, especially for customers thinking of abandoning ‘the big three’ and putting their faith in one of the new(er) players.

So how does a decision-maker go about selecting a new storage solution for his/her business?

 

Like anything in IT, the answer is of course: “it depends”. For example, those organisations with higher performance requirements will likely be looking at one or more of the all-flash vendors. Although I stated scalability has improved overall, that is not necessarily the case with all-flash arrays. SSDs are still pretty expensive in terms of £/GB – if you need to increase capacity on all-flash storage you can (by definition) only add SSD. To address this, all-flash vendors will play on how their storage efficiency features (typically de-dupe, compression and thin-provisioning) will counter SSD capacity limitations. Let’s just say plenty of assumptions are made here, with no guarantees that everything will fit.

 

Juan Carlos Garcia

Magnolias House

Cryers Hill Road, Buckinghamshire

United Kingdom, HP15 6JR

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