IDC (International Data Corporation) has predicted that all-flash storage market is projected to reach $1.6 million by 2016- an impressive figure, given the relatively short time that all-flash arrays have been available. But the same research firm predicts that this number will get overshadowed by the hybrid array market which is said to reach a $12.3 billion figure over the same period.
IDC also predicts that Hybrid storage arrays will dominate the storage market for atleast the next few years. This is because, SSD prices have dropped considerably of late, but they remain far more expensive than HDDs. Moreover, in many cases, it makes sense to combine the two- high performance for top-priority applications and hard drives for everything else.
Additionally, in many enterprises, most data is cold i.e. seldom used/accessed. So, by having a super fast access to that data may be an extravagance.
“Traditional disk technology has not kept pace with CPU technology, resulting in a significant performance gap between storage and computing”, said Dan Iacono an analysts at IDC.
Dan added that this shortfall in performance presents a huge opportunity for SSD loaded storage in order to fill in the void in terms of both IOPS and latency. But this doesn’t go well for all applications. If the bulk of data for most of the apps does not require the super-fast response rates of flash, it may be overkill. Hence, Hybrid arrays composed of both HDDs and SSDs remain as a popular choice.
For this reason, to add more value to data storage, IT heads of most enterprise data storage environments prefer to have intelligent storage engines which can smartly track down hot and cold data and intelligently save them on the relevant storage media.
Therefore, by currently following this trend, vendors such as StoneFly, Inc are providing all-flash storage which are available at disk like prices.
“Earlier, All-flash was much preferred for high performance oriented applications like accelerating database apps or financial transactions,” said Mo Tahmasebi, CEO and President of StoneFly, Inc. He added that his company has created an all-flash array that breaks the cost barrier to flash. StoneFly™ Flash Voyager DX IP SAN Cluster is 5th generation of StoneFly™ Voyager series of high availability cluster appliances. It offers enhanced performance, redundancy, scalability and availability. With its award winning StoneFusion IP SAN Operating System, the users of this storage appliance can enjoy the benefits of auto-tiering where they can collaboratively transfer data in between the two storage media variants i.e. SSD and hard disks.
Finally, one has to see whether hybrid arrays will really take over all-flash arrays in coming days. And no matter, which ever way the storage market turns, flash is sure to play a prominent role in the field of data storage in coming years.