While I enjoyed Spring Break with my family, there was plenty of activity in the world of solid-state vendors. I’ve chosen just a few examples of many that happened during the latter parts of March; thematically aside, they all support my contention...which is that—much like the school year—the start up/grade-school solid-state storage world (on which this entry is focused) is headed towards graduation.
As ever when I have a few vendors to mention, I’m going to do this alphabetically:
- Nimbus introduced HALO 2013 OS. Yes, there are general management and functional improvements (necessary when its Gemini array now scales to 48TB in 2U) but the elements I want to highlight are that the new release goes big on extensive analytics, its open API, and mobile operation;
- Pure now has its “Love Your Storage Guarantee.” Understanding that the jump to an all-flash array remains something of a leap of faith, Pure has introduced a very straightforward 30 day guarantee—it’s something like a Nordstrom approach; there’s no need to explain why you don’t like it (if that happens), just return it—it's "try it, you'll like it" without strings;
- QLogic delivers FabicCache. Although QLogic isn’t a start-up in the traditional sense, it has (gotta keep my theme going!) returned to school. Like many mature students, it has decided to address a pretty obvious problem that others have mainly only talked about. FabricCache can share its solid-state cache performance enhancements across all the servers on a SAN, providing significant flexibility and financial advantage;
- SolidFire promoted its guaranteed QoS for applications running on its systems in cloud provider environments. ESG’s research has shown that performance concerns are more of an issue for actual users of the cloud than for those thinking about it, so providing such assurance matters.
These can all in one way or another be seen as the sort of more advanced storage elements and capabilities that would be—and are—associated with the mature storage vendors. Of course, I'm not suggesting that the "big boys" of the storage world are not doing (or soon will be) similar things. We've seen solid-state go from the "whizz-bang widget" to an integrated element of many storage products and environments. The point is simply that the start-up solid-state industry is no longer just shouting “hey, look at the shiny new toys we have”…instead, it is wrapping them in management, operational, and business value, and graduating to the next stage (advanced degree!?) of maturity.