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DCIG Preparing Updated Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide

DCIG is in the process of researching the Hybrid Storage Array marketplace with the intention of publishing the DCIG 2015-16 Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide in February/March 2015. This will be an update to the DCIG 2014 Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide that was published in November 2013. Since the publication of 2014 edition, nearly every vendor has come out with new models, warranting a fresh snapshot of this dynamic marketplace.
The purpose of this courtesy notice is five-fold.

  1. To inform prospective storage purchasers and storage vendors that DCIG intends to publish the DCIG 2015-16 Hybrid Storage Array Buyers Guide in February/March 2015.
  2. To describe the appeal of hybrid storage while clarifying DCIG’s definition of hybrid storage.
  3. To disclose DCIG’s inclusion criteria and enumerate the products identified in our preliminary research.
  4. To give individuals an opportunity to inform DCIG of additional products that may qualify for inclusion in the guide. (While there is no charge to have qualifying products included in any DCIG Buyer’s Guide, the DCIG analyst team working on the guide ultimately determines which products will and will not be included.)
  5. To give notice of key dates for participants.

The Appeal of Hybrid Storage
Hybrid storage arrays combine flash memory and HDDs in order to capitalize on the performance, capacity and cost advantages of each type of storage media. Flash memory (SSD) is good at providing low-latency random access to data, while hard disk drives (HDDs) are good at sequential input and output (I/O) operations. Most SSD models currently max out below 1 terabyte of storage capacity, while HDDs max out at 6 terabytes–at a cost per terabyte that is much lower than SSDs.
Hybrid storage arrays enhance application performance by acknowledging writes as soon as data has been stored in flash memory (SSD) or other non-volatile storage-class memory (NVRAM). Many hybrid storage arrays then coalesce what would have been multiple random I/O operations into a sequential I/O stream to the HDDs. Many hybrid storage arrays also use flash memory as an extended read cache to accelerate random read operations and eliminate most read operations from the HDD I/O stream.
All storage operations involve reading and/or writing metadata, and some common operations require only metadata access. Some hybrid arrays separate metadata from the actual data they describe, and then store that metadata in flash memory. This accelerates operations by providing low-latency random access to metadata and by reserving the HDD I/O stream for actual data. This metadata store also provides the foundation for advanced data efficiency technologies such as deduplication and zero-overhead snapshots.
DCIG Definition of Hybrid Storage Array
Hybrid Storage Array is a physical storage appliance that dynamically places data in a storage pool that combines flash memory and HDD storage resources (and in some cases NVRAM and/or DRAM) by intelligently caching data and metadata and/or by automatically moving data from one performance tier to another.
Inclusion Criteria

  • Must dynamically place data in a storage pool that combines flash memory and HDD storage resources (and in some cases NVRAM and/or DRAM) by intelligently caching data and metadata and/or by automatically moving data from one performance tier to another
  • Must support one or more of the following storage networking protocols:
    o Fibre Channel and/or FCoE, iSCSI, NFS
  • Must primarily function using storage local to the array, storage expansion units and/or its direct peers (more than a cloud gateway)
  • Must support scaling to a minimum of 12 disks and 10 TB of raw capacity. This requirement may be met through the use of storage expansion units
  • Must be available as an appliance that is available as a single SKU and includes its own hardware and software
  • Must provide sufficient information for DCIG to draw a meaningful conclusion
  • Must be generally available on February 13, 2015. A cut-off date had to be put in place or this Buyer’s Guide would never be published

Products That Appear to Meet the Inclusion Criteria

  • Avere FXT 3850
  • Dell EqualLogic PS4210XS
  • Dell EqualLogic PS6210XS
  • Dell EqualLogic PS6510ES
  • Dell Compellent SC4020
  • Dot Hill AssuredSAN Pro 5000
  • Dot Hill AssuredSAN Ultra48
  • EMC VNXe3200
  • EMC VNX5000 Series (5400, 5600, 5800)
  • EMC VNX7600
  • FUJITSU Eternus DX S3 Series (DX200, DX500, DX600)
  • Fusion–io NexGen 5-100 Storage System
  • Fusion–io NexGen 5-150 Storage System
  • Hitachi Data Systems HUS 100 Series (110, 130, 150)
  • Hitachi Data Systems HUS VM
  • HP StoreVirtual 4335 Hybrid Storage
  • HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200
  • HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400
  • IBM Storwize V7000 Unified
  • Imation Nexsan NST4000 Unified Hybrid Storage Series
  • Imation Nexsan NST5000 Unified Hybrid Storage System
  • Imation Nexsan NST6000 Unified Hybrid Storage System
  • NetApp FAS2500
  • NetApp FAS8020
  • NetApp FAS8040
  • Nimble Storage CS215
  • Nimble Storage CS300
  • Nimble Storage CS500
  • Nimble Storage CS700
  • Oracle FS1
  • Oracle Sun ZFS Storage (ZS3-2, ZS3-4, ZS4-4)
  • StorTrends 3500i
  • Tegile HA2000 Series (HA2130, HA2130EP, HA2300, HA2400)
  • Tegile T3400
  • Tintri VMstore T800 Series (T820, T850, T880)
  • Winchester FlashDisk FX-2U24
  • X-IO Hyper ISE 700 Series

(If you would like DCIG to consider another product for inclusion, please provide the product name/model number by filling out the DCIG contact form.)

Key Dates for Participants (DCIG reserves the right to revise this schedule)

1/5/15 – 1/9/15Products may be proposed for inclusion in the Buyer’s Guide
1/9/15 – 1/16/15Vendor survey review period
1/19/15Last date for vendor updates to be received before competitive scoring
2/9/15 – 2/13/15Vendor data sheet review period
2/13/15Last date for vendor updates to be reflected on data sheets
2/28/15 – 3/6/15Intended publication date
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