At the start of November I was lucky enough to be invited to the Next Generation Storage Symposium in San Jose, California as well as Storage Field Day #2 on the following two days. There were sessions from upcoming storage vendors as well as a keynote from well known analyst Robin Harris and some thought provoking panel discussions about next generation storage technologies. Having spent some time digesting the flood of information and ideas from this trip there are two trends which ’emerge out of the haze’ for me;
- Flash storage continues to rapidly disrupt the storage marketplace
- The desire for more scalable systems is driving changes in the architecture of enterprise storage
To people immersed in storage these trends are well known and have been covered increasingly over the last couple of years (flash has been in mainstream arrays in some form since 2008). I’ve written this article to consolidate my own thoughts rather than as the traditional end of year predictions – ‘if you can’t explain it you don’t understand it‘ is something I believe and one of the principal reasons I enjoy blogging. Despite my interest in storage these events made me realise I’ve taken my eye off the ball and I’m now playing catchup!
Most of the vendor and panel sessions at the conference concentrated on the flash aspects – tiered vs cache, should you use a hybrid or all flash array (or no array at all in Nutanix’s case) although there was also discussion of the scalability of various architectures and technologies. Flash’s key advantage is performance – when compared to spinning disk it’s orders of magnitude faster and much of the current innovation is in trying to overcome its other constraints of cost, lifecycle, form factor etc. It’s not just performance that’s driving the current industry changes however – the desire for greater scalability is driving storage from a centralised model to a more distributed architecture (as described very eloquently by Chris Evans).
Combined these factors imply a major shakeup in the storage industry – it’s going to be a fun few years!
Flash disrupts the marketplace
Unless you’ve been hiding under a very big rock you can’t have missed the mass market arrival of flash devices into almost every aspect of the market, both for consumers and enterprises. Continue reading Enterprise storage is in for an exciting few years