As we ended 2013, we saw both winners and losers in the world of flash, for example: Violin Memory crashing as it struggled to increase sales and reduce burn; yet Pure Storage seem to be on a stellar rise - and hiring like maniacs, I hear. A UK launch is imminent and its is going to be an interesting one to watch. All-flash …
Flash/Disk Ratio will go up not down
You'll likely see hybrid vendors increase the flash/disk ratio, not decrease as a way to mitigate cache-miss performance issues - even with 4TB drives available. As all-flash arrays add more capacity and hybrids increase flash/disk ratios for performance reasons, I see the two segments converging.
I think the key thing to bear in mind is simply this: one size does not fit all. There has been enough technology developed around dynamic, programmatically configurable (software-defined) storage that now virtually any niche can have their needs met without tossing virgins into Mt Erebus.
This is terrible news for EMC, as it means that their stranglehold on the market will disintegrate...but it also means that vendors are now fighting both on fitness for purpose and price at the same time. Gone are the days of overpaying for storage or overpurchasing by 50%+ the amount you need. Whether your bottleneck is raw capacity, redundancy, replication, IOPS or some combination there is a vendor out there that has exactly the product you need for to get the right ratio of features for a price you can afford.
The wailing and gnashing of teeth taking place is the howling of the entrenched against commoditisation. The overwhelming applause is the rest of the world, cheering and hollering: "about frakking time!"
Compute is a commodity. Storage is a commodity. We need to get dynamic networking into the same state and then we can move off infrastructure and towards the commoditisation of industry-specific software applications. Silicon Valley is chalk full of wild-eyed bright young things, all looking to make their millions. They are doing so by ruthlessly and relentlessly decimating the monopolies and margins of their predecessors.
2013 saw the beginning of the end of the storage monopoly. Good riddance.
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