A Summary Guide to Evaluating All-Flash Array’s for 2017
Every year the DCIG produce a Buyer’s Guide Report providing an insider’s guide to buying All-Flash Arrays (AFA’s). As well as examining the business case for using All-Flash Arrays, the report evaluates the main vendors in the marketplace and makes recommendations based on a number of key evaluative criteria.
It’s a hugely useful guide that prospective customers can use in making their purchase decisions of All-Flash Array’s. It’s a complicated purchase process and the evaluation process is an onerous one – this article looks at the business case for using All-Flash Arrays, the benefits to the organisation and provides summary information on those vendors that come highly recommended.
Of the 12 key vendors that are evaluated (Dell EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems, HPE, Huawei, NEC, IBM, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Pivot3, Pure Storage and Tegile), HPE come out top of the recommended list with their HPE 3PAR StoreServ Series.
All-Flash Array Adoption
The market for all-flash arrays is both rapidly growing and highly competitive. Many changes have taken place – there have been substantial increases in AFA capacity, storage density and performance.
Enterprises are aggressively adopting all-flash arrays, and for good reason. In a sense, the AFA marketplace is becoming simply the storage array marketplace. All significant product lines are now offered in AFA configurations, with various flash optimisations implemented including options specific to all flash configurations.
The current generation of all-flash arrays address critical business priorities and deliver a return on investment of well under eighteen months in most cases. Indeed, many organizations have discovered that the transition to all-flash is self-funding, even when just the IT budget is considered.
However, the greatest value of the transition to all-flash is not IT budget savings. The greatest value of all-flash is the fact that it enables organizations to move faster. As Eric Pearson, the CIO of InterContinental Hotels Group has said, “It’s no longer the big beating the small. It’s the fast beating the slow.”
All-Flash, All the Time
Efficiency is the ability to accomplish a task with the least waste of time and effort. All-flash arrays (AFAs) help businesses increase efficiency by accelerating applications, eliminating storage management headaches, and automating routine processes. All-flash arrays now provide as much capacity as any organization requires, with the data services enterprises expect, and at price points that make sense to more and more businesses. Consequently, many businesses are turning to AFAs to accelerate all active workloads.
Flash is fast. Various metrics are used to evaluate all-flash array performance including latency, throughput and IOPS. In the typical highly-virtualized data center, flash offers dramatically better performance on all three metrics compared to legacy storage. Digitization initiatives are driving data volume and velocity beyond the capabilities of legacy storage. All-flash arrays can keep up with these requirements.
Flash is friendly. Datacenter friendly that is. Datacenters are expensive to operate; real estate, power and cooling are ever increasing costs. Flash eases the burden in each of those areas, consuming as little as one-tenth the data center resources of the legacy storage systems they replace.
An AFA can also dramatically reduce storage management overhead, with storage troubleshooting nearly eliminated and routine tasks automated or simply integrated into server management tasks.
Flash is free. Well technically not free, but the return on investment is rapid. Many organizations have reported that the cost of their all-flash deployment was lower than the maintenance costs on their legacy storage system. Other organizations have eliminated whole data centers and achieved a nearly instantaneous ROI.
Competition among all-flash array vendors is fierce. Vendors continually add or enhance features and adopt the latest hardware improvements to gain an edge.
Recommended All-Flash Arrays
The table below shows at a high level the most recommended All-Flash Array products on the market for 2017. As can be seen 5 of the 12 vendors make it into the list of the most recommended products with HPE 3PAR scoring very highly for its StoreServ 8000 series.
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Codec-dss as a key technology integration partner work with the main All Flash Array vendors in delivering technology solutions to their clients that help them maximise their investment in the technology. Established over 30 years ago and now with offices in Dublin, Belfast, Galway, London, Warsaw and Cologne, Codec-dss have a team of over 100+ professionals delivering IT infrastructure solutions across multiple technology areas. We "empower" businesses to deliver on their own goals and objectives through the most effective use of technology in their organisations.
As industry experts, DCIG Buyer’s Guides provide comprehensive, in-depth analysis and recommendations of various enterprise data storage and data protection technologies.