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Have SSDs Been Unsuccessful with Storage Arrays (with Poll)?
I hear people talking about how Solid State Devices (SSDs) have not been successful with or for vendors of storage arrays

I hear people talking about how Solid State Devices (SSDs) have not been successful with or for vendors of storage arrays, particular legacy storage systems. Some people have also asserted that large storage arrays are dead at the hands of new purpose-built SSD appliances or storage systems (read more here).

As a reference, legacy storage systems include those from EMC (VMAX and VNX), IBM (DS8000, DCS3700, XIV, and V7000), and NetApp FAS along with those from Dell, Fujitsu, HDS, HP, NEC and Oracle among others.

Granted EMC have launched new SSD based solutions in addition to buying startup eXtremeIO (aka Project X), and IBM bought SSD industry veteran TMS. IMHO, neither of those actions by either vendor signals an early retirement for their legacy storage solutions, instead opening up new markets giving customers more options for addressing data center and IO performance challenges. Keep in mind that the best IO is the one that you do not have to do with the second best being the least impact to applications in a cost-effective way.

SSD, IO, memory and storage hirearchy

Sometimes I even hear people citing or using some other person or source to attribute or make their assertions sound authoritative. You know the game, according to XYZ or, ABC said blah blah blah blah. Of course if you say or repeat something often enough, or hear it again and again, it can become self-convincing (e.g. industry adoption vs. customer deployments). Likewise depending on how many degrees of separation exists between you and the information you get, the more that it can change from what it originally was.

So what about it, has SSD not been successful for legacy storage system vendors and is the only place that SSD has had success is with startups or non-array based solutions?

While there have been some storage systems (arrays and appliances) that may not perform up to their claimed capabilities due to various internal architecture or implementation bottlenecks. For the most part the large vendors including EMC, HP, HDS, IBM, NetApp and Oracle have done very well shipping SSD drives in their solutions. Likewise some of the clean sheet new design based startup systems, as well as some of the startups with hybrid solutions combing HDDs and SSDs have done well while others are still emerging.

Where SSD can be used and options

This could also be an example where myth becomes reality based on industry adoption vs. customer deployment. What this means is that the myth is that it is the startups that are having success vs. the legacy vendors from an industry adoption conversation standpoint and thus believed by some.

On the other hand, the myth is that vendors such as EMC or NetApp have not had success with their arrays and SSD yet their customer deployments prove otherwise. There is also a myth that only PCIe based SSD can be of value and that drive based SSDs are not worth using which I have a good idea where that myth comes from.

IMHO it is a depends, however safe to say from what I have seen directly that there are some vendors of storage arrays, including so-called legacy systems that have had very good success with SSD. Likewise have seen where some startups have done ok with their new clean sheet designs, including EMC (Project X). Oh, at least for now I am not a believer that with the all SSD based project "X" over at EMC that the venerable VMAX formerly known as DMX and its predecessors Symmetric have finally hit the end of the line. Rather they will be positioned and play to different markets for some time yet.

Over at IBM I don't think the DS8000 or XIV or V7000 and SVC folks are winding things down now that they bought SSD vendor TMS who has SSD appliances and PCIe cards. Rest assured there have been success by PCIe flash card vendors both as targets (FusionIO) and cache or hybrid cache and target systems such as those from Intel, LSI, Micron, and TMS (now IBM) among others. Oh, and if you have not noticed, check out what Qlogic, Emulex and some of the other traditional HBA vendors have done with and around SSD caching.

So where does the FUD that storage systems have not had success with SSD come from?

I suspect from those who would rather not see or hear about those who have had success taking away attention from them or their markets. In other words, using Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) or some community peer pressure, there is a belief by some that if you hear enough times that something is dead or not of a benefit; you will look at the alternatives.

Care to guess what the preferred alternative is for some? If you guessed a PCIe card or SSD based appliance from your favorite startup that would be a fair assumption.

On the other hand, my educated guess (ok, its much more informed than a guess ;) ) is that if you ask a vendor such as EMC or NetApp they would disagree, while at the same time articulate benefits of different approaches and tools. Likewise, my educated guess is that if you ask some others, they will say mixed things and of course if you talk with the pure plays, take a wild yet educated guess what they will say.

Here is my point.

SSD, DRAM, PCM and storage adoption timeline

The SSD market, including DRAM, nand flash (SLC or MLC or any other xLC), emerging PCM or future mram among other technologies and packaging options is still in its relative infancy. Yes, I know there have been significant industry adoption and many early customer deployments, however talking with IT organizations of all size as well as with vendors and vars, customer deployment of SSD is far from reaching its full potential meaning a bright future.

Simply putting an SSD, card or drive into a solution does not guarantee results.

Likewise having a new architecture does not guarantee things will be faster.

Fast storage systems need fast devices (HDD, HHDD and SSDs) along with fast interfaces to connect with fast servers. Put a fast HDD, HHDD or SSD into a storage system that has bottlenecks (hardware, software, architectural design) and you may not see the full potential of the technology. Likewise put fast ports or interfaces on a storage system that has fast devices however also a bottleneck in its controller has or system architecture and you will not realize the full potential of that solution.

This is not unique to legacy or traditional storage systems, arrays or appliances as it is also the case with new clean sheet designs.

There are many new solutions that are or should be as fast as their touted marketing stories present, however just because something looks impressive in a YouTube video or slide deck or WebEx does not mean it will be fast in your environment. Some of these new design SSD based solutions will displace some legacy storage systems or arrays while many others will find new opportunities. Similar to how previous generation SSD storage appliances found roles complementing traditional storage systems, so to will many of these new generation of products.

What this all means is to navigate your way through the various marketing and architecture debates, benchmarks battles, claims and counter claims to understand what fits your needs and requires.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

What say you?

Click here to cast your vote and see others perspectives.

Ok, nuff said

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

About Greg Schulz
Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
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Cloud Expo New York
[June 11-14, 2012]

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Introducing Big Data Expo
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There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Get a jump on that rapidly evolving trend at Big Data Expo, which we are introducing in June at
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Testimonials
Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
SVP, Global Infrastructure Management, CSS Corp.
 
With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
PETE MALCOLM
CEO, Abiquo
 
We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
MARY BASS
Director of Marketing, UnivaUD
 
Cloud Expo helps focus the debate on the critical issues at hand in effect connecting main street with the next frontier."

GREG O’CONNOR
President & CEO, Appzero


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, communications and networking specialists, directors of infrastructure Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, presidents, VPs, directors, business development; product and purchasing managers.


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To get involved, email Marilyn Moux at marilyn@sys-con.com.

@CloudExpo Blogs
Traditionally IT has been seen as a cost center with nothing but a cost associated with enabling, supporting and maintaining anything IT. IT on the other hand is an integral part of today’s enterprise that often does not have a replacement. IT can however be turned into a powerful profit center. IT can be empowered by giving it tools and mechanisms to enable chargebacks to work as an independent entity within an enterprise and offer services to its stakeholders. Powered by Solgenia’s revolutionary Cloud Monetization platform Powua, Enterprise IT can now create chargebacks to the granularity of...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Business Cloud News recently tied up with Sharp Document Solutions to interview more than 715 enterprise IT professionals from across the world for their study on cloud based collaboration. The objective of the study was to look at the level of proliferation of cloud tools in the enterprise setup of today and also to understand the factors that may be challenging this unbridled growth.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become the next “be all to end all” in information technology. Touted as how cloud computing will connect everyday things together, it is also feared as the real- life instantiation of The Terminator’s Skynet, where sentient robot team with an omnipresent and all-knowing entity that uses technology to control, and ultimately destroy, all of humanity.
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end users by eliminating the need to buy costly infrastructure and instead rent it from cloud providers, i...
Tableau Software and big data analytics platforms come together to provide visualization benefits for those seeking more than just crunched numbers. The next BriefingsDirect big data innovation discussion highlights how Tableau Software and big data analytics platforms come together to provide visualization benefits for those seeking more than just crunched numbers. They're looking for ways to improve their businesses effectively and productively, and to share the analysis quickly and broadly.
Big Data is the revolution the business world has been waiting for. The transformation that has taken place among many companies due to the adoption of Big Data analytics simply can’t be understated. Organizations of all types have looked into the many ways in which big data can help them change how they do things for the better, cultivating more success as businesses look to the future. For all the benefits that big data provides companies, the main goal is, of course, to make money. In fact, with all the capabilities that come from using big data, if a business isn’t utilizing it to make mon...
Snagajob – one of the largest hourly employment networks for job seekers and employers – uses big data to finally understand their systems' performance in action. The next BriefingsDirect analytics innovation case study interview explores how Snagajob in Richmond, Virginia – one of the largest hourly employment networks for job seekers and employers – uses big data to finally understand their systems' performance in action. The result is vast improvement in how they provide rapid and richer services to their customers.
Business and IT leaders today need better application delivery capabilities to support critical new innovation. But how often do you hear objections to improving application delivery like, "I can harden it against attack, but not on this timeline"; "I can make it better, but it will cost more"; "I can deliver faster, but not with these specs"; or "I can stay strong on cost control, but quality will suffer"? In the new application economy, these tradeoffs are no longer acceptable. Customers will abandon your brand forever for a slow response or a privacy breach; competitors will steal critical ...
It’s not hard to feel sorry for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) – the levels at which they need to operate change all the time… and depth and granularity of the dataflows that present themselves change all the time. Just when we thought we had the whole client-server model worked out, along came the Internet and cloud and the data center.
Brand owners are caught in a digital crossfire. From one direction comes intense competitive pressure to innovate or to at least follow very, very quickly. From the precisely opposite direction comes the potentially existential threat of an app very publicly flopping or – even worse – being very publicly revealed to jeopardize the customer’s well-being. Either way, you lose brand value in a social marketplace where brand is your primary currency. What’s a brand owner to do?
The Federal Government’s “Cloud First” policy mandates that agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a mandatory government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Advantages for business include being able to market to many federal agencies after a single FedRAMP review following the government’s “approve once...
Access is everything. It is the fundamental pillar that determines whether critical enterprise assets are safe or exposed. Knowing the answers to the questions of who is accessing what, where they are accessing that information from, why they are accessing that information and, finally, what exactly they’re accessing are the basic questions that stand between a breach and brand reputation.
DevOps is first and foremost a mindset – any DevOps initiative must begin with a cultural change. Last Tuesday, I participated in an online panel on the subject of Implementing a DevOps Culture, as part of Continuous Discussions (#c9d9), a series of community panels about Agile, Continuous Delivery and DevOps. Watch a recording of the panel: Continuous Discussions is a community initiative by Electric Cloud, which powers Continuous Delivery at businesses like SpaceX, Cisco, GE and E*TRADE by automating their build, test and deployment processes.
User expectations and rethinking of business productivity are having a profound impact on how business applications are used, designed, and leveraged to help buyers, sellers, and employees do their jobs better.
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2011west.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcexpo
2011east.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2010west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualization
2010west.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group