A recent conversation with some fellow analysts revealed a puzzling set of claims. EMC, at its EMC World conference (May 3-7) claimed to be the leader in flash array shipments. The very next week, in the same Las Vegas hotel, IBM also claimed leadership in flash.
Who do you believe?
- EMC is counting XtremIO Arrays as units shipped and according to Gartner Group held the #1 market share position with a 31.1% share, which is over a ten percentage point share lead
- IBM is counting capacity of PBs shipped with all of their flash storage solutions: The FlashSystem 840, 900, V840, V9000, DS8000, plus the XIV systems, Storwize V7000, IBM Flash DAS, and IBM PCIe Adapters
- NetApp is the leader if you count total flash systems shipped (NetApp-branded plus privately-branded systems) spanning multiple years as their SANtricity operating system and E-Series platforms have sold over 750,000 units
- Pure Storage uses its 700% growth to show that it’s the #1 fastest-growing flash storage company
- Then, if you want to compare any vendor’s total all flash array (AFA) systems sold this past year against hybrid storage arrays, Nimble Storage beats any of the AFA vendors.
IBM has unveiled its new IBM FlashSystem V9000, an all-new offering that supports scale-up and scale-out flash growth models. The FlashSystem V9000 is an upgrade to the company’s FlashSystem V840 product. IBM also introduced the new IBM FlashSystem 900, the follow-on generation to the IBM FlashSystem 840. A full complement of software services (including snapshots and replication) is bundled with the product.
Over 4,000 IBM FlashSystems have shipped since the brand was introduced two years ago causing the company’s bit shipments to outpace the combined shipments of the second and third-ranked flash array providers.
The IBM FlashSystem V9000 comes in a 6U package that incorporates twelve IBM MicroLatency modules that provide 57TB of RAID 5 usable capacity, which then blooms to 285TB with IBM Real-time Compression. The proprietary modules provide more consistent performance than SSD-based systems – the system is as fast when it is 90% full as it is when only 10% of its total capacity is in use.
IBM tells us that the FlashSystem V9000 is not simply a virtualized node built up from a number of IBM FlashSystem 900 systems, but is a single, integrated system purpose-built to address the needs and focus of cloud, analytics, mobile/social and security. It supports seamless concurrent capacity increases up to its 2.2 petabyte upper limit when real-time compression is used.
IBM’s FlashSystem V9000 is currently available and carries a 7-year warranty as well as an optional 5-year “TCO” lease that IBM has priced to be cheaper than the high-performance disk arrays it has been designed to replace. This is intended to bring peace of mind to skittish would-be flash users.
At IBM’s Edge 2013 conference last week the company not only extolled the values of flash, as does anyone who has had a flash experience, but it also showed how flash could be made even faster than it already is.
You’re probably already thinking: “Flash is about 1,000 times as fast as HDD – how do you make it even faster?”
The answer is actually pretty simple: compress the data. If there is a limit to how much bandwidth you have going into and out of a piece of storage, you can speed it up if you can reduce the size of the data that consumes that bandwidth.
Of course, that’s not always easy. Compression often slows data access down, even for HDDs, and it could Continue reading
Intel has gotten into the fast-growing and lucrative market for PCIe SSDs. The company has announced a PCIe SSD, the 910, that provides the high performance you would expect of a PCIe drive with the quality guarantees that customers expect of Intel.
Who could blame them? Fusion-io has become a Wall Street darling for creating the PCIe SSD market, and still rides it to continually growing revenues. LSI is fascinated by the growth of its Warp Drive. Micron attained a significant design win at EMC, Texas Memory Systems (TMS) has had success in its own narrow markets, and Virident, OCZ, and STEC have also participated in the PCIe SSD’s market growth.
Intel’s 910 consists of four Hitachi SAS SSD Continue reading
At Oracle’s October OpenWorld conference in San Francisco more exhibit hall space was dedicated to SSDs this year than ever before. That’s because Oracle runs faster on systems with SSDs than on systems without.
Even Oracle ships SSDs in its popular Exadata system, and the company recently announced that it had shipped over 1,000 installations since its introduction in 2009. Continue reading