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All-flash please, but hold the disruption


Vish Mulchand.jpgBy Vish Mulchand, Senior Director, 3PAR Product Marketing, HPE Storage

The storage market has seen more than its fair share of “disruptive” technologies emerging in the last few years, with the rise of hyper-convergence, software-defined storage and object based storage, to name a few. Some are on the cusp of gaining broad acceptance in the enterprise. Take all-flash arrays, for example. This segment is “beginning to transition from an emerging market to a more mature one,” according to IDC, which has just released its IDC MarketScape: Worldwide All-Flash Array 2015-2016 Vendor Assessment (doc #US40721815, December 2015). HPE is right there where you’d like to see us, up in the Leaders category. (Thanks IDC MarketScape!) US40721815J.jpgIDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the shortterm. The Strategy score measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a 3-5-year timeframe. Vendor market share is represented by the size of the circles. Vendor year-over-year growth rate relative to the given market is indicated by a plus, neutral or minus next to the vendor name. 

It’s certainly been a wild ride for buyers and vendors alike since AFAs burst onto the scene – but less so, I’d argue, for HPE customers.

All-flash without the angst

From the early days of flash onwards, we’ve always taken a different tack from most vendors, who generally started from scratch in designing products to leverage the new technology. Our strategy, in contrast, was to pull the best of flash into our 3PAR family of products over time.

As IDC points out, “as flash costs came down in the 2009-2010 time frame, HPE introduced the use of flash media as a persistent storage tier into its 3PAR StoreServ storage array product line, using sub-LUN tiering in an HFA configuration. As true AFAs became available, HPE began flash-optimizing the 3PAR operating environment.”

So for HPE customers, reaping the benefits of flash didn’t involve a sudden break from a familiar, tried-and-true solution.

That strategy really resonated in the market, judging by IDC’s numbers in a separate report, its Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, for Q3 2015. IDC identified HPE 3PAR StoreServ All-Flash as the fastest-growing AFA in this overall fast-growing market, with 200% year-over-year growth, and 11.4% market share that’s also expanding. (HPE StorageGuy @CalvinZito looked in some detail at these numbers in this post on the latest strorage market share dataYou can read IDC’s press release here.)

Protecting against future shocks

I’d argue further that some big disruptions in the market are still to come, and that HPE SSDs offer great protection Roller coaster.small.jpgagainst those, too. Here’s what the IDC MarketScape report has to say about the future of the market, and it’s so striking I can’t resist quoting a sizable chunk:

“IDC expects that market forces such as fierce competition and buyer demand will accelerate the evolution of this market into a mature market with only a few dominant vendors. In all likelihood, the only survivors in this market may ultimately be vendors with broad portfolio offerings that enable seamless integration of AFAs intended for use as primary storage platforms with other types of existing and emerging storage platforms, particularly secondary storage platforms.”

I couldn’t agree more and couldn’t be happier about it! Among the many differentiators of HPE AFAs, one that stands out is our integration with secondary storage. We offer a scale-out deduplication platform in HPE StoreOnce for secondary storage that provides direct integration with 3PAR all-flash arrays. This integration, called Express Protect, provides application-managed data protection for your 3PAR StoreServ all-flash array. It gives you complete, modern data protection with data compaction, rich storage replication, self-encrypting drives and quality of service, to protect both data and access to data. In fact, IDC gives a call-out to HPE’s “unprecedented integration capabilities.”

Gone are the days of one solution silo for applications snapshots and replication, and another silo for traditional backup and recovery. Now you can integrate the best of storage application availability with the scale and granularity of backup provided with StoreOnce. If you want your flash solution to deliver enterprise-class resiliency as well as simple and efficient backup and recovery, this is the place to look.

You can read more about what features to look for with all-flash storage plus data protection here.

And visit HPE StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central for more on how to protect your flash solution.

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