5 Best SMBs to Enterprise All-Flash Storage Array Solutions: Future of Storage Technologies

The all-flash storage market has been dominated by big players including EMC, Tegile, HP and Hitachi. With all flash arrays gaining market acceptance and share both the big guys those smaller players who are still around are getting pumped up.

According to IDC and Hitachi, the all-flash storage market is poised for a CAGR of 58.5% this year, where worldwide enterprise all-solid state storage spending is expected to reach $1.6bn, up from $300m in 2012. Shipped capacity is predicted to increase to 611PB (2012: 31PB), with a 2012-2016 CAGR of 110.8%.

The increase in adoption rates is due to falling price. Between 2012 and 2016 solid state storage arrays’ prices fell at a CAGR of -28.7%, from $11.12/GB to a forecasted $2.88/GB in 2016.

There are some other flash array storage solutions are also available in the market and they are also competing for their existence and survivor in the market and your storage solution can also be very good in the form of performance, scalability, efficiency, and some other features as well. It doesn’t mean that these five flash array solutions are the best in the market, but according to my knowledge, here are some flash array storage solutions which could be better choice for fulfilling storage needs from small business to enterprise. With your own storage solutions and considerations for choosing all-flash arrays, below mentioned solutions can also be a better choice for datacenters.

  1. EMC XtremIO

 XtremIO is an all-flash storage array that has been designed from the ground-up to unlock flash’s full performance potential and deliver array-based capabilities that leverage the unique characteristics of SSDs, based on flash media. XtremIO practices industry standard components and proprietary intelligent software to deliver unparalleled levels of performance. Achievable performance ranges from hundreds of thousands to millions of IOPS, and consistent low latency of under one millisecond.  The system is also designed to provide minimal planning, with a user-friendly interface that makes provisioning and managing the array very easy. XtremIO leverages flash to deliver value across the following main dimensions:

  • Performance – Regardless of how busy the system is, and regardless of storage capacity utilization, latency and throughput remain consistently predictable and constant. Latency within the array for an I/O request is typically far less than one millisecond which represents that the computational speed of equipment is too much fast and best fit for enterprise storage needs.
  • Scalability – The XtremIO storage system is based on a scale-out architecture. The system begins with a single building block, called an X-Brick. When additional performance and capacity are required, the system scales out by adding X-Bricks. Performance scales linearly, ensuring that two X-Bricks supply twice the IOPS, four X-Bricks supply four times the IOPS, six X-Bricks supply six times, and eight XBricks supply eight times the IOPS of the single X-Brick configuration. Latency remains consistently low as the system scales out.

EMC X-Brick Appliance

  • Efficiency – The core engine implements content-based Inline Data Reduction. The XtremIO Storage Array automatically reduces (deduplicates and compresses) data on the fly, as it enters the system. This reduces the amount of data written to flash, improving longevity of the media and driving down cost. XtremIO arrays allocate capacity to volumes on-demand in granular data blocks. Volumes are always thin-provisioned without any loss of performance, over-provisioning of capacity, or fragmentation. Once content-based inline deduplication is implemented, the remaining data is compressed even further, reducing the amount of writes to the flash media. The data compression is carried out inline on the deduplicated (unique) data blocks.

Benefits gained from avoiding a large percentage of writes include:

  • Better performance due to reduced data
  • Increased overall endurance of the flash array’s SSDs
  • Less required physical capacity to store the data, increasing the storage array’s efficiency and dramatically reducing the $/GB cost of storage
  • Data Protection – XtremIO leverages a proprietary flash-optimized data protection algorithm (XtremIO Data Protection or XDP), which provides performance that is superior to any existing RAID algorithm. Optimizations in XDP also result in fewer writes to flash media for data protection purposes.
  • Functionality –XtremIO supports high performance and space-efficient snapshots, Inline Data Reduction (including inline deduplication and data compression), thin provisioning, and full VMware VAAI integration, as well as support for Fibre Channel and iSCSI protocols.
  1. Tegile T Series

Tegile T Series Appliance

Tegile all-flash arrays make it easy and affordable to make the transition to a flash-centric data center. By delivering maximum performance, high density, and compelling economics, the T Series is ideal for latency-sensitive, business-critical workloads such as online transaction processing, real-time analytics, decision support, and data warehousing. The T Series portfolio enables you to start small and scale in capacity as your business grows. Start with the T3600 or T3700 all-flash array and deliver a turbo-boost to your legacy storage while deferring equipment replacement and move up to the T3800 when your density and capacity requirements grow.

  • 5x data reduction delivers a little over $1/GB
  • 10 Petabyte/drive endurance
  • At 55 effective terabytes per rack unit, the T3800 goes well beyond traditional disk-based array density
  1. Hitachi F Series

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has launched the F Series, a mid-range family of all-flash array that form part of its VSP product line, along with a flash module, the FMD DC2, which doubles drive capacity to 6.4TB.

The F Series has FMD DC2 modules as an option in the three 2U systems launched. The existing high-end G Series hybrid flash arrays can also use the new flash modules.

The three F Series models – the F400, F600 and F800 – have capacities of between 15TB and 256TB raw plus compression, but have controllers differentiated bycentral processing unit (CPU) and memory that provide 375,000input/output operations per second (IOPS), 800,000 IOPS and 1.4 million IOPS per controller, and throughput of 11Gbps, 12Gbps and 24Gbps respectively.

Drive sizes available are 1.6TB, 3.2TB and 6.4TB.

The F Series arrays have inline compression, with no performance penalty, said product marketing director Bob Madaio, who added that the F Series arrays explicitly target mid-market customers and use cases and fit in the HDS range below the high-end G Series VSP arrays.

  1. Violin 6600

 The 6600 All Flash Array is based on single level cell (SLC) flash and offers ultimate performance and resiliency, with 17.5TB of capacity. The 6600 is designed for no-compromise enterprise storage environments where only the highest levels of performance and resiliency are acceptable.

Violin 6600 Appliance

The 6600 all Flash Array provides the following features:

Ultimate Performance and Resiliency

  • SLC NAND for ultimate performance and resilience
  • Flash Fabric Architecture eliminates storage bottlenecks
  • Demanding, high write workloads welcome

Simple to Deploy and Manage

  • SAN Connectivity: Fibre Channel, iSCSI or InfiniBand
  • GUI-based management
  • Simplified storage provisioning
  • Violin’s Symphony management for all Violin All Flash Arrays from a single pane of glass

Flash Fabric Architecture

  • Purpose-built design to maximize flash technology potential
  • SLC NAND chips on optimized card design
  • Cards connect to optimized flash fabric
  • Tied together with optimized flash translation layer
  • No SSDs in Flash Fabric Architecture
  1. HP 8000 series

HP HAS BECOME the second major player to bring an “affordable all-flash array” to market with new additions to the HP 3PAR StoreServ range.

The new 8000 series consist of a Starter Kit (20800 AFA) and software updates for the full StoreServ range, and HP can now offer multi-petabyte systems offering 3.2 million IOPS with scale out from two to eight controllers and proven tier-1 resiliency.

HP-3PAR-StoreServ Appliance

Regardless of your size, budget, growth rate, quality of service requirements or even your storage network environment, HP 3PAR StoreServ storage offers a best-in-class flash solution to power your public, private or hybrid cloud with uncompromising adaptability from a single architecture,” said Manish Goel, senior vice president and general manager of HP Storage.

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