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?
Well a friend of The SSD Guy, marketing consultant Jay Kramer of Network Storage Advisors Inc., tallied up all of the leadership claims he could find and provided this list:
- 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.
Continue reading “Who’s #1 in Flash Arrays?”
This is an excerpt of an article that was originally posted in the 2/25/15 edition of the Pund-IT Weekly Review
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.
The SSD Guy has always admired TMS products, and they appear to be getting even better under IBM’s care. Both systems should provide a pretty important boost to IBM’s competitive positioning.
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 “IBM Makes Flash Even Faster”
The following is excerpted from an Objective Analysis Brief e-mailed to our clients on 15 April, 2013:
On April 11 IBM kicked off “The IBM Flash Ahead Initiative”, committing to spend more than $1 billion for flash systems and software R&D and to open twelve IBM Flash Centers of Competency around the world staffed with flash experts armed with flash systems to help clients test drive flash in their own situations.
This follows from IBM’s August 2012 agreement to acquire privately-held Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a very low profile manufacturer of high-performance flash-based memory arrays and PCIe SSDs. TMS is the world’s oldest SSD maker, founded in 1976, to manufacture RAM-based replicas of HDDs. About four years ago TMS used its Continue reading “IBM to Invest $1B in Flash Promotion”
IBM announced on Monday October 1 that it had finalized its acquisition of Texas Memory Systems (TMS.) This transaction was first announced in mid-August and was analyzed at that time in an Alert sent to Objective Analysis clients.
Here are a few salient points from the Alert:
- TMS is the world’s oldest SSD maker, and has recently made an aggressive move from DRAM to NAND flash, providing very high performance PCIe SSDs and arrays.
- TMS and IBM play into the same market: storage for large-scale computing. Their technologies complement each other, since IBM’s current solid state storage offerings were lightweight compared to those of TMS.
- The acquisition meshes with IBM’s mantra of “Smarter Planet, Smarter Storage, and Smarter Computing.” SSDs improve storage speed while reducing power and space requirements.
Objective Analysis sees this as a good fit that will harness the synergies of two very similarly managed companies to produce very positive results.
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 “Intel Jumps Into the PCIe SSD Market”
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 “SSD Presence Growing at Oracle OpenWorld”