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Analysis

Neuralytix continues our coverage of Cloud Expo Europe/Datacentre World 2015 (CEEDCW15) by analyzing the impact of solid state disk (SSD) on the European market.

The business end of Solid State Storage

In an economic market where growth the measure for success of an enterprise, it is therefore natural to correlate performance with growth, competitiveness and profitability. Currently, SSDs provide performance factors at up to two orders of magnitude over the fastest rotating magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs). They are also one-tenth of the cost of HDDs per unit of performance.

So drawing the conclusion that an incremental investment solid-state based storage will yield a substantial return as it relates to business performance is fair and logical.

This conclusion was proven with the successful IPO last month of Pure Storage successful IPO last month. The IPO clearly demonstrated that the market is strong, and demand is high, for solid-state storage companies that have focused on market leadership, marketing and reliability. It also demonstrated to the market that the abysmal financial performance of contemporaries like Violin Memory to be an anomaly.

The European Market is Vastly Different to that of North America

Similarly, SolidFire has done well with the telco and service provider market. The demand for solid state storage at scale has also garnered attention by the large enterprises. However, Neuralytix is concerned with respects to SolidFire’s ability to move to the larger (arguably more profitable) mid-market.

In Europe, this may not yet become an issue for SolidFire. The sheer number of large telecom providers compared with the comparatively smaller number of large enterprises gives SolidFire significant runway for continued success. The commoditization of the telecommunications companies, and the looming abolishing of roaming charges[1] across the Union, means telecom providers need to improve performance, reliability and offer more and better services.

Data storage solutions such as SolidFire can certainly provide an improved data services platform for the likes of O2, SFr, Orange, Telekom, Telefonica, TelecomItalia, etc.

New Entrants Showing Good Form

But solid state storage does not only come in a systems form factor. Mangstor, founded by alums of Dell, Intel and Storage Engines, has all solid state storage packaged in a PCIe card form factor. It features its own proprietary NVMe SSD, claiming “all flash away breaking the barriers of SAN at low latency.”

Like all PCIe based solutions, the form factor demands partners to deliver the high performance either to a server or other parts of the datacenter. To that end, Mangstor has partnerships with Mellanox that has already yielded some marquis customers, and with Caringo to provide a block, file and object interface.

Hybrid are Winners Too

But pure-play solid state storage are not the only winners. Hybrid storage system vendors have also seen improved reputation, revenue and relevance. The recent success of Tegile (flash/hybrid SSD) points to the opportunities for new and well-timed innovative entrants with high quality and unquestionable reliability. Neuralytix believes that hybrid storage will be the mainstay for most enterprises through 2020.

Guidance

The underlying media can change, the vendors will, but ultimately, it is the level of data services that matter. In today’s IT infrastructure, one must have a common platform to tie it all together for users to fully leverage the sources resources available to them. Next, in our series of opinions analyzing CEEDCW15, we look at the impact of Software-Defined Storage (SDS) on the European market.

[1] Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent, and amending Directives 2002/20/EC, 2002/21/EC and 2002/22/EC and Regulations (EC) No 1211/2009 and (EU) No 531/2012 (COM/2013/0627 final – 2013/0309 (COD))

 

Katey Wood contributed to this Insight.