The all-flash market will grotesquely distend in five years, says Gartner

Six fun-packed flash factoids from financial fellow

Gartner thinks the all-flash array market will expand at a 37 per cent compound annual growth rate, embiggening from $1.43bn in 2014 to about $7bn by 2019.

Storage notes from analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, reveal that and other interesting predictions:

  • Gartner thinks no data centres use only all-flash arrays for primary data today but 25 per cent will in 2020.
  • Micron and Intel partner in IMTF for planar (2D) NAND chips coming out of their Boise foundry. With Micron 3D NAND coming from its Singapore foundry there is likely to be a new Micron-Intel partnership for 3D NAND supply to Intel, or a re-formulated IMTF.
  • Micron will ship forthcoming SAS SSDs using Seagate firmware and is sampling with two OEMS already. Western Digital’s HGST is the leading SAS SSD shipper and so a likely sampler. We "could" see Western Digital HGST SAS SSDs using Seagate firmware. What fun!
  • IBM’s FlashSystem lacks deduplication but users can get it by additionally buying products from either Atlantis Computing or Permabit. Also data services for FlashSystem are provided by Spectrum Virtualize, the old SAN Volume Controller, but it sits in the data path and increases latency. Oops.
  • For database applications, NetApp says it can deliver usable capacity on its AFFAS8060 at $22/GB vs. EMC XtremIO at $26 and Pure Storage at $32, respectively. The AFFAS8060 can deliver net $/IOPS (100 per cent read) at $0.97, compared to XtremIO and Pure Storage at $1.94 and $0.96.
  • NetApp flash product positioning:
    • EF-Series is focused on the highest performance requirements, including extreme performance databases
    • All-flash FAS is focused on broad workloads and allows for scale-out of storage capacity
    • FlashRay provides a different solution for data efficiency targeting customers that do not need a full suite of management

There will be more FlashRay news later this year, we're told.

Of the three, FlashRay has the least clear market positioning and much more detail is needed to separate it from the EF Series and all-flash FAS. ®


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