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


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