Top 10 flash storage stories of 2013

2013 has been the year of flash, where the big six array makers started to catch up with the pioneering startups and new frontiers opened in flash deployment in the datacentre

Flash has been the big storage story of the past year. There are myriad types of flash media available, in a number of product form factor choices and from array makers big and small.

But no sooner has flash arrived and settled into relatively familiar technological variants and form factors, than new ones come along. And looking into the not too distant future we can even see the seeds of flash’s demise.

Read these and Exchange articles for a comprehensive overview of the flash story as it unfolded during 2013.

1. Big storage takes two routes in flash array shakedown

In the first of a series of surveys of the flash storage market, Computer Weekly looked at the responses of the big six suppliers to the flash revolution – to retrofit SSD to existing architectures or buy a startup.

2. Flash array market roundup: The startups

The startups led the flash array fray from the start and still did when this was written, despite the efforts of the big six. Here we survey the work of the startup vanguard in the flash revolution.

3. Big storage turns the tide in the hybrid flash array market

The hybrid flash array market – as with most flash storage – has been all about the startups, but was the tide turned with EMC’s re-architecting of its VNX line for flash?

4. PCIe SSD flash storage roundup: The few become fewer

The PCIe flash storage, or server-side flash, market is one dominated by a few, in which the big six array makers don’t get a look-in. Computer Weekly surveyed the speeds and feeds on PCIe flash.

5. Flash caching software market roundup

Flash storage cuts latency and boosts IOPS, but cannot do the job alone; flash caching software is needed to target the blocks that need it most. Computer Weekly surveyed the key suppliers in this space.

6. Podcast: MLC, eMLC, SLC, TLC – what they are and what they’re good for

The flash storage market is an alphabet soup of three-letter acronyms. Here we run the rule over the type of flash available and what they are good for.

7. Smart and Diablo launch Ulltra DIMM memory channel storage

In August, Ulltra DIMM memory channel storage put flash on DDR3 cards with the aim of blowing PCIe flash out of the water with claimed latency less than half that of existing server flash formats.

8. Atlantis VDI storage helps hospitals save £500,000 a year

A proof-of-concept deployment of Atlantis ILIO flash caching software at Leicester hospitals to boost VDI storage efficiency showed the potential to cut £500,000 a year from hardware refresh costs.

9. University does the maths and dumps HDS for Nexenta storage software

Use of a fast flash tier plus storage software from Nexenta on commodity hardware allowed Greenwich university school of computing and maths to gain 20% savings over former Hitachi Data Systems SAN.

10. What’s wrong with flash storage: And what will come after?

Despite flash storage taking the enterprise by storm, its days are numbered due to an unfavourable combination of technological obstacles and manufacturing economics.

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