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Rising flash array uptake hits $11.3B in 2014

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IDC? flash array? Violin Memory? AF? HFA?

Flash arrays have now established a strong foothold and adoption is growing at a rapid pace, according to a new IDC research. The research covers both all-flash arrays (AFAs) and hybrid flash arrays (HFAs) and revealed that the global market for flash arrays reached $11.3 billion in 2014.

IDC credits the growth to a wider variety of offerings from vendors that handle different, increasingly complex workloads. The forecast is based on worldwide data on AFA and HFA sales revenue and raw terabytes sold between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 that IDC has collected.

"The market grew significantly faster than we expected," said Eric Burgener, research director for storage systems at IDC. It was clear throughout last year that adoption was accelerating beyond initial forecasts, he said. The worldwide HFA and AFA segments will reach $10 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, in 2014, according to IDC's research.

Violin Memory flash array

Violin Memory was one of the earliest entrants into the flash array segment.

Adoption of AFAs started around 2010, Burgener said, although vendors such as Violin Memory were selling them as early as 2007. The flash array landscape now includes startup revenue leaders Nimble Storage, Pure Storage and SolidFire, while traditional enterprise storage vendors such as EMC, NetApp, Dell and others have all moved to offer flash-optimised HFAs, and in some cases AFAs. Some have acquired startups to add or enhance their flash capabilities.

In the early days, organisations were typically buying AFAs for specific applications, such as databases that required a high level of performance, said Burgener. What's driven last year's growth is that vendors have been adding features that enterprises have come to expect on legacy storage systems. One of the major trends IDC identified for 2014 is that enterprises are now using AFAs for more primary applications, anywhere from five to eight, he said.

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