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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?

More flash-based platforms are delivering enterprise-class data services, including snapshots, clones, encryption, replication and quality of service as well as storage efficiency features, added Burgener, and once enterprises start putting more applications on a flash array, they don't want to use the individual features such as replication for each application. They want one replication capability for all applications on that array.

Mark Peters, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said the improved economics of flash are contributing to the adoption of AFAs and HFAs. While the price per gigabyte for flash is still not matching that of spinning disk and won't any time soon, enterprises are starting to look at the bigger picture when evaluating flash arrays, he said, including features such as encryption.

Enterprises are figuring out that efficiently-used flash is better than inefficiently-used hard drives, Peters said, and although there is a place for AFAs in some organisations, "a hybrid infrastructure is where most people will end up." And there's still a place to be had for cheaper forms of storage depending on requirements, including disk, tape and the cloud, he said.

Burgener said upfront cost is still an issue when buying a flash array, but that's no longer a proper method of evaluating flash, as it doesn't allow for total cost of ownership. There are other benefits to consider such as reduced floor space and lower power consumption, he said.

For AFA vendors in 2015, a competitive advantage will be offering mixed workload capabilities, said Burgener, and not all do. They will have to offer a flash-optimised platform with enterprise-class data services, including in-line compression and de-duplication.

IDC recommends that end users should consider flash-based arrays when retiring existing enterprise storage platforms; ESG's Peters said starting a new company or location from scratch is a logical time to look at adopting a flash array.

- Gary Hilson
??EE Times

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