The barrier to wider adoption of solid-state storage

clickIncluded with this blog post is fifth in a series of seven videos that talk about the key findings from ESG’s recently published research report, Next-generation Storage Architectures. I collaborated with my colleagues Mark Peters and Scott Sinclair on the research. In this segment, I talk about one of the key, next-generation storage architectures: solid-state storage.   

As confirmed by our research, solid-state storage is continuing to take IT by storm. It’s popular across industries, and more than two-thirds of organizations surveyed have already deployed solid-state storage at least somewhere in their environment. Yet, there’s still some hesitation about broader adoption. And why is that?

It’s the high price tag.

While most of the early concerns about reliability and wear have disappeared (with so much run-time in real-world environments, it seems to have escaped its early reliability question marks), the only factor holding back solid-state storage is price. Organizations are paying a premium price per GB for it. That’s driving organizations to look at hybrid solutions.

Why hybrid?

They want some type of hybrid solution to balance price and performance. Because interviewees recognize that not all applications need the level of performance that solid-state storage provides, and most data doesn’t need solid-state performance as it ages, they would be happy to have it as a tier within most of their environments.

But with pure solid-state storage or wider adoption, although users want it, need it, and plan to adopt it, realistically this is not going to happen until prices decline enough to make that strategy viable.

Want to learn more? Take a two-minute break and watch my video. And while you’re at it, check out ESG’s other informative videos in the series about the five key, next-generation storage architectures.

Video Transcript

Mark Peters: ESG's recent Next-generation Storage Architectures Research used in-depth, qualitative interviews to find out what Senior IT Managers really think about the potential relevance and value of these five nascent storage technologies.

In this video, one of a series of seven summarizing our key research findings, Terri McClure examines what we found out about attitudes to solid-state storage.

Terri McClure: Thanks, Mark. You know, I think we pretty much confirmed the obvious with our solid state storage discussions. Solid-state storage has taken and will continue to take IT by storm. The only factor holding it back is price. Despite a premium price per gigabyte compared with HDD technology, solid-state storage is the most widely used of any of the technologies discussed in this study, with more than two-thirds of organizations already having deployed solid-state somewhere in their environment.

While most of the interviewees feel that solid-state has a widely applicable use case, we saw strong desire for hybrid solutions to balance the price and performance. Because, interviewees recognize that not all applications, or even data for that matter, need the level of performance that solid-state storage provides, and they'd be happy to have it as a tier within most of their environments.

Now, we also saw that most of the early concerns about reliability and wear seem to have disappeared. Now that so many users have experienced solid-state storage and it has so much run-time in real world environments, it really seems to have escaped its early reliability question marks. These last few years, we've really seen a steady uptick in the ability to use ever less expensive or even consumer flash, and yet manager mask any hardware deficiencies with intelligent software monitoring and management.

The solid-state storage discussions really presented a stark contrast with our software defined storage discussions. While software defined storage discussions were long and involved, solid-state discussions were short and to the point. But the end game was the same for both. Users want it, they need it, and they plan to adopt it. Though, for solid-state storage specifically, it's not going to happen until the prices decline enough to make that strategy viable.

Mark Peters: If you'd like to find out more, please see the other six videos in this series, or get the full ESG research report from our website.

software defined storage insight

Topics: Storage