In this ESG Video Blog, ESG's Mark Peters reviews the highlights of recent ESG research on storage trends, specifically regarding spending on solid-state technology.
Read the related ESG Blog: Storage Trends Research - Flash Storage (#2 in a series) - includes video
ESG recently completed research into the state of the storage industry. This video is one in the series. Each gives highlights into the key takeaways for a particular topic within the overall findings. I encourage you to read the companion ESG brief for each topic that gives much more detail.
Here we look at solid-state, that's invariably various flash implementations today, of course. Interestingly, the market position of flash, the nature of its deployment and the drivers for it remain rather more nuanced than a quick glance at vendor and commentator materials might casually suggest. Here are some key findings. We do not quite yet have a majority of users with flash deployed, although the next year should see that change significantly. Even then the vast majority of users expect solid-state to be only or less than 30% of their capacity by 2020. Perhaps that's because they perceive that solid-state-level performance is only required by a subset of their workloads. That said, while performance is not surprisingly the single most important factor driving flash usage, when users were forced to pick the single most important factor, the sum of the nonperformance factors, improved reliability, and cost effectiveness especially actually exceeds the total for performance.
The lower access times possible by fronting flash with the NVMe protocol represent the next wave of solid-state usage. This technology step is initially largely focused on performance, and a significant majority of users are either using planning or interested in NVMe-based flash. Users expect that these new storage offerings will overtake not only the more traditional flash but possibly even the largest storage networks themselves. Interestingly and optimistically for the flash business, organizations that use it are more likely to want to use more of it and for more things. However, looking ahead, the benefits of flash will be limited as long traditional storage networking holds back the performance that can actually be used by applications. This helps explain the attraction of technologies such as NVMe that accelerate the data birth. And access to those improvements could be stifled if the transition to NVMe is seen by potential users as a complex rip and replace exercise instead of a seamless transition. So the manner in which vendors enable NVMe deployments will be key in determining the extent to which certainly the rate at which solid-state storage can truly transform a data center.
Thanks for watching. Look out for other videos and briefs in this series.