As DCIG makes its final preparations for the release of its inaugural Purpose-Built Flash Memory Appliance Buyer’s Guide, we have had a number of conversations internally about what the criteria for product inclusion and exclusion in this Buyer’s Guide will be. As we do so, our conversation almost always turns to ways in which these purpose-built flash memory appliances will impact organizations and their decision making and buying habits.
In this final installment of our blog series on WhipTail Technologies, a Solid State Drive (SSD) array provider with some impressive features and capabilities, I am continuing my discussion with WhipTail Technologies Chief Technology Officer, James Candelaria. Last time, we looked at how WhipTail implements software RAID on its devices. Today, we will be discussing the different transport protocols supported by the WhipTail array and why the FCoE and iSCSI protocols trump Infiniband in today’s SSD deployments.
Today is part 2 of an interview I recently did with WhipTail Technologies Chief Technology Officer, James Candelaria, an emerging provider of SSD storage solutions. In my last entry, he and I discussed one major roadblock to widespread enterprise SSD adoption: the performance penalty incurred by garbage collection. This time, we’ll look at how WhipTail optimizes SSD performance while minimizing the deficiencies of MLC flash.
Today DCIG is very excited to announce the availability of its updated DCIG 2012 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 90 features on more than 50 midrange arrays from 18 different storage providers. However the reason that DCIG believes users will find this guide even more helpful and insightful than the prior DCIG 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is that it takes an in-depth look into how well each midrange array integrates with VMware and supports its vStorage APIs.
If you are a regular follower of the DCIG blog site you may have noticed that there has been a noticeable lack of blogging activity on DCIG’s site this week. Unfortunately it is not because I have been taking a vacation, fishing or merely lounging by the lake. Rather I have been locked away in my office completing the background research associated with the upcoming release of the DCIG 2012 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide due out in the 4th quarter of 2011. Out of that some interesting early observations have emerged.
Today DCIG, LLC, and Foskett Services, LLC, are pleased to jointly announce the availability of an Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 35 small enterprise storage array models priced from $5,000 – 30,000 from 19 different vendors.
About a year ago DCIG decided to do something completely different in the analyst space: a side-by-side independent comparison of products in a particular market segment in the form of a Buyer’s Guide. The end result of that was the DCIG 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide. But believe it or not, a year has already passed since that was produced and it is now time to update and refresh that Buyer’s Guide for a number of reasons.
The overwhelming success of the 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that DCIG released in May 2010 did not come without some caveats. One of the specific areas in the Buyer’s Guide that merited closer attention was in the area of replication software. It is not that midrange array replication software was ignored in the Buyer’s Guide. But it quickly became evident that in order to do this topic justice replication software required its own dedicated Buyer’s Guide which is what DCIG will be releasing in the first half of 2011.
Now that the acquisition of 3PAR by HP is a done deal, there are three big questions on the minds of many. How will 3PAR’s InServ Storage Servers fit into HP’s overall storage portfolio? Is HP’s relationship with HDS over? Does HP keep its EVA line of storage? These are some of the questions I was able to get answered this week when I met with Craig Nunes, the new HP Director of StorageWorks Marketing at Storage Networking World (SNW) 2010.
Now that the bidding war between Dell and HP for 3PAR has subsided with HP emerging the victor, the question becomes, “Which storage company is on Dell’s 2010 Christmas shopping list?” While there are still a good number of storage companies available, when one takes a hard look at which companies are the best fit for Dell, the list gets pretty short pretty quickly.
We can all get caught up in the hoopla of new and slick storage technology features and lose sight of some the most important and basic details that keep our storage fabrics up and humming. Among these are the Fibre Channel cabling infrastructures and the distance limitations incurred by continued increases in FC speeds.
It has been rumored that EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci has said that EMC’s biggest threat comes not from Dell, HDS, HP or IBM but NetApp. It is for that reason that EMC has been looking over its shoulder for some time to see what NetApp is up to in an attempt to stay one step ahead of it from a technology perspective. But after attending NetApp’s annual Analyst Days last week, it is time for EMC to stop looking over its shoulder and start looking up because EMC now finds itself in the shadow of NetApp’s cloud.
Today DCIG is pleased to announce that through a special licensing agreement with Nexsan Technologies, the 2010 DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is now available for a free download on Nexsan’s website for a limited time. This is a full copy of the 105 page Buyer’s Guide exactly as it was originally published by DCIG with no additions, deletions or edits.
In a couple of weeks, DCIG is going to release its first Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that will include information and analysis on over 70 midrange arrays from 20 different storage providers. However it is important to note that this is a “Buyer’s Guide” and is not intended to do all of your thinking and decision making for you.
Back in early February I wrote a blog that announced that I was going to resume writing technology reports similar to what I used to write for Storage magazine a few years ago. After some deliberation, I decided to focus the first one on midrange arrays. Since then questionnaires have been mailed out to storage providers, completed by them and their responses tabulated, weighted and scored. This means that DCIG is getting close to announcing how all of the different midrange array models from the various providers were scored and ranked.
However, during the many presentations that I attended and conversations that I had about this technology, SSD vendors revealed some key “gotchas” about SSDs. They also shared how SSDs stand to impact the hard disk drive (HDD) market as well as the market for memory as well. So here, in no particular order, are some of the new challenges and opportunities that SSDs create as well as what to watch out for.
One specific item that caught my attention was an article posted earlier this week on SearchStorage.com’s site regarding Texas Memory System’s acquisition of Incipient’s storage virtualization intellectual property. Being fairly familiar with Incipient’s technology and having talked to a few of its early customers off-the-record, I thought its technology was sound. However like every storage vendor regardless of its size, a pure network-based storage virtualization play has remained a tough sell, especially in enterprise environments where Incipient played.
This morning EMC announced its new Virtual Matrix Architecture as well as it new third generation Symmetrix V-Max based upon the Virtual Matrix Architecture. Since EMC has been hyping this announcement for at least a couple of weeks if not longer, I felt obligated to pop in and listen to the pre-recorded webcasts by EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci and EMC’s Storage Division President, David Donatelli, that highlighted the major aspects of this new release from EMC. And while it is impossible to summarize all of the features that a high end system like the Symmetrix V-Max will deliver, my initial thoughts were: “It’s about time”.
My visit to this fall’s Storage Decisions conference in New York City on Wednesday, September 24, was an abbreviated stay. I only had the afternoon to spend at the conference before leaving in the evening for another set of meetings the next day. So while my time was short, I did catch a couple of briefings as well as a little industry chatter. Some of the talk on the exhibit hall floor had to do with the current crisis facing the banking industry and what that may mean for technology as a whole. One of the sentiments expressed which I generally agree with is that the financial crisis is probably not good news for the larger storage vendors at the show but likely bodes well for emerging storage technologies in the market as it will force some companies to look beyond traditional solutions..
“You know things are tough when companies finally stop throwing capacity at their infrastructure problems and start thinking about how they provision and allocate storage.” Those are the sentiments that Craig Nunes, 3PAR’s VP of Marketing, expressed in a recent conversation I had with him in regards to how the economy is affecting 3PAR’s business. In short, the economy is not affecting 3PAR badly at all.