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Nimble Storage announced their All Flash Array in February, the AFA3000/5000/7000/9000 series, and the Nimble Storage vs. Pure Storage fight is on. Pure Storage has been out in front of the all flash array (AFA) market for some time now, a position that has energized EMC and pressured all the competitors to match price or features or a combination of both. The field has been crowded, but many have fallen to the back of the pack, and to continue the NASCAR analogy, many will spin out, crash, run out of fuel or just plain finish last. XtremIO from EMC has come on stronger than any other vendor, and the FUD has been flying back and forth like trash talk at a prize fight. SolidFire was bought by NetApp, another step along a confusing product strategy path from the parent company. Pure arguably still owns the market, but questions have come up concerning profitability – is Pure winning the deals but losing money? Not according to them. Nimble Storage has dominated the Hybrid Flash Array market since it hit the market and has had enviable success until just very recently, where EMC came out swinging and delivered some body blows with THEIR “win at all costs” strategy, trying undercut Nimble in a no-compromise strategy that fended off Nimble’s growth into the Enterprise market. Not my conclusion…the finance analysts’. Competitor Strengths Nimble’s strength has been providing flash performance at a hard drive price, and that value has been proven over and over in the last five years. Great support, a great product and a great channel strategy has made them a terrific partner in the datacenter market and created a lot of happy customers. Nimble Storage has shown market leadership in their cloud based analytics and reporting solution, Infosight, which is free to all owners of Nimble Storage. Nimble Storage is Scale Out and Scale Up, which isn’t offered by anyone else in this market. This means that you can add storage shelves to expand capacity, or buy another Controller pair to add processing capability to create one virtual array. (NetApp can do it, but it isn’t really the same kind of scaling and is expensive, complicated and has not had widespread adoption.) Nimble’s other value points have been: all software included, easy to use, great support and user community. Their reliability is nearly six nines, unheard of except perhaps with the enterprise storage systems such as VMAX and Hitachi – 99.9997% - as reported in Infosight! Pure’s main value to the market has been first-to-market with a viable, reliable and affordable (relatively) all flash array storage system. Pure Storage also has some common value points: fantastic performance, very easy to use, all software included, great support and user community. They, also, can boast very high reliability numbers.
The storage market is changing, and it isn’t changing slowly. While traditional storage vendors still dominate the revenue and units sold market share, IDC concludes that direct sales to hyperscale (cloud scale, rack scale) service providers are dominating sales of storage. Hyperscale is the ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system; hyperscale datacenters are the type run by Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
After EMC World 2015, I’m languishing in airports today in post-conference burnout - an ideal time to deliver a report on the news, announcements and my prognostications on what this means to our business. The big announcements were delivered in General Sessions on Monday (EMC Information Infrastructure & VCE) and on Tuesday (Federation: VMware & Pivotal). The Federation announcements are more developer and futures oriented, although important strategically, so I’ll pass on that for now.
Does disaster recovery as a service make sense for your organization? It is oftentimes more cost effective and less of a headache than traditional disaster recovery options. As the importance of information infrastructure and applications grows, disaster recovery continues to become more and more critical to a company's success. In this video, I break down the benefits of Disaster Recovery as a Service and discuss how you go about finding a solution that fits your needs. Benefits include:
In this video, I discuss flash storage. Remember, flash storage isn't just an enterprise play. It's important to understand how it can be used and when you should purchase it. Who are the mayor players? What's the difference between all-flash and hybrid or adaptive flash? What about single cell or multi-level cell? What's the pricing like?
Information infrastructure is taking storage, which is a very fundamental part of any data center infrastructure, and putting context around it by adding value on what has been typically seen as a commodity item.
Video with Randy Weis, Practice Manager, Data Center
By Randy Weis, Practice Manager, Virtualization & Data Management