While catching up on some end-of-the-summer reading, one story by Lucas Mearian in Computerworld caught my attention. It highlighted end-user research conducted by TheInfoPro about SSDs and featured three customer case studies.
Survey says —TheInfoPro survey of 255 IT managers and storage admins says that 37 percent of respondents indicated that they plan to deploy SSD technology, up 30 percent from a similar 2011 survey. The same study found that four percent of respondents plan to buy an all-Flash array (in six to 18 months).
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the percentage of respondents that say they plan to purchase an all-Flash array in a 2013 survey gets a similar boost that the general SSD purchase question received in 2012. Many businesses are still figuring out their transition-to-SSD strategy. If the commitment isn’t there yet to SSD, it seems reasonable that a commitment to a particular type of SSD solution would be less common. A recent SPC-1 benchmark performance report has validated that if a system such as the Kaminario K2 is built from the ground up to maximize SSD performance then you gain in performance, price/performance and sustained performance. As George Crump from Storage-Switzerland concludes from these results:
“These results also confirm that SSD arrays are ready for the data center. As Kaminario’s #1 ranking shows, SSD arrays are fast enough for both bursts of data and sustained data. Most important, as the dollar per IOPS result shows, they are now cost effective.”
Arrays and data protection benefits — Mearian continued his article with three user stories. One featured a PCIe solution, another one used a mixed HDD/SSD solution and a final one included an all-SSD array. No surprise that all three users touted that phenomenal performance gains they achieved with the SSDs. I noticed that that only the array user made any mention of data protection benefits saying they dramatically cut backup time (not a surprise either).
All-Flash SAN arrays like the K2 offer more advanced data protection and sharing features than other SSD solutions. It is important for SSD array vendors to educate customers on that point because once a customer signs off on SSD, they still need to select the best SSD option for their needs.
K2 customers — If I could have appended text to Mearian’s article, I would have added a fourth case study such as Test America, PetMed Express or one of a number of other Kaminario case studies. In all cases, the customers benefited from substantial performance gains as well as from data protection features such as high-volume snapshots and non-disruptive operations.
Looking forward — With maturing products, better data protection capabilities than other SSD/HDD options and increasing numbers of success stories, SSD arrays will find themselves in more budget plans soon. I am eager to see TheInfoPro conduct the same user study next year.