Framingham, Mass. - The storage industry continues to evolve and the flash-based array market – including all-flash arrays (AFAs) and hybrid flash arrays (HFAs) – is showing explosive growth. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), the emergence of more robust offerings that can handle a wide range of increasingly complex workloads helped drive the worldwide flash-based array market to $11.3 billion in 2014.
The impact that flash-based arrays will have on the datacenter is undeniable as more flash-based platforms are delivering enterprise-class data services, including snapshots, clones, encryption, replication, and quality of service (QoS) as well as storage efficiency features. Once dominated by storage startups looking to carve out a niche with flash-optimized solutions, the promise of flash in the datacenter is driving traditional enterprise storage vendors, such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp and Oracle, to all get on board and offer flash-optimized HFAs, and in some cases AFAs.
"Vendors are aggressively flash optimizing their offerings to provide improved performance, longer endurance, higher reliability, and a lower effective cost per gigabyte," said Eric Burgener, Research Director, Storage Systems. "The most successful vendors will be those that can make a smooth transition from the traditional, dedicated application model to mixed workload consolidation."
Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:
Start-up revenue leaders in the flash-based array space include Nimble Storage (an HFA supplier), Pure Storage, and SolidFire.
The worldwide HFA and AFA segments will reach $10.0 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, in 2014.
To be successful, flash-based array vendors must have a flash-optimized platform that offers in-line compression and de-duplication as well as other enterprise-class data services.
End users should strongly consider flash-based arrays when retiring existing enterprise storage platforms.
The IDC Special Study, Worldwide All-Flash Array and Hybrid Flash Array 2014–2018 Forecast and 1H14 Vendor Shares (IDC #252304), provides detailed insights into the rapidly growing market for enterprise storage systems that leverage flash storage media. The study divides the market into two technology segments – AFAs and HFAs -- with historic insights into each segment. Market shares and IDC analysis are provided for each of the top vendors in the two segments along with detailed market-level analysis. IDC has collected worldwide AFA and HFA sales (revenue) and raw terabytes sold between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 for this study through a bottoms-up approach with the intention of reflecting the entire value of the enterprise storage systems (i.e., not just the value of the flash capacity). IDC utilized historical data from its Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker and accepted guidance from vendors where provided. All public statements made by suppliers were also taken into consideration when sizing this market.
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On January 14, IDC's Eric Burgener will host a Web conference for IT decision makers that are considering adoption of flash-based platforms. The presentation will highlight the differences between legacy arrays and AFAs, and propose a new framework for testing AFAs that will allow end users to understand the type of performance AFAs will produce against real-world workloads in a time-efficient testing regimen. Additional information about this complimentary IDC Web conference can be found at http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=IDC_P32104.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.