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28 October 2014

Product survey 2014: Hybrid flash arrays from the big six

All-flash arrays, and in particular those from startups, have been the stars of the flash revolution. With architectures designed from the ground up for flash, they have pioneered rapid-access, solid-state storage for the era of the virtualised datacentre. But three or four years on from the onset of flash, we still find most customers do not have all-flash arrays installed, and instead have opted to build hybrid flash arrays from existing systems. There are some key reasons for this. All-flash arrays often offer blistering performance – up to and exceeding one million input/output operations per second (IOPS) – but this comes with a hefty price tag that means they are out of the range of all but the most performance-hungry, deep-pocketed organisations. A mission-critical, money-no-object application is needed to justify the spend. In addition, most all-flash arrays are likely to end up as standalone subsystems, unable to work seamlessly with existing storage hardware. They are also unlikely to have advanced storage features, ...

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