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editorial mentions on STORAGEsearch.com,
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- editor's comments:-November 2013 - Like
many other big name enterprise companies from the HDD array era - and for
reasons - Network Appliance was a me-too (late) follower rather than a
leader in the SSD market in the first decade of
flash in the
enterprise (2004 to 2013).
For those reasons its interim business
strategy has mostly been a mixture of
oeming 3rd party SSDs rather than advancing SSD architecture with its own
NetApp has never appeared in the
fastest SSD lists
nor in StorageSearch.com's 7 year running series the
top 10 SSD companies,
nor in the lowest price
If you're looking at NetApp for SSDs you may also be
interested in looking at these articles for alternative suppliers:-
(Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated Pools of storage),
and PCIe SSDs.
a late and slow start in solid state storage there's no doubt that NetApp is
a fount of knowledge when it comes to network storage architecture related to
rotating storage arrays.
Something which may have helped was the
company's 2003 acquisition of patents from the world's first NAS company
Auspex Systems - whose
Guide (published in 2000) remains a classic reference which has been read
by hundreds of thousands of our readers.
In November 2008 -
published details of its thinking re SSDs.
NetApp's paper -
Flash Memory Technology
in Enterprise Storage (pdf) didn't actually say much beyond the fact
they're qualifying some products and will launch systems offerings which
include flash SSDs sometime in
- Network Appliance
announced 2 strands in its solid state storage acceleration strategy:-
Although NetApp's PAM is a
PCIe RAM card and not a
PCIe flash SSD - it's
just a short walk from one to the other - which is why I've mentioned it here.
I have little doubt the company has already been evaluating options in this
In June 2010 -
disclosed that it had shipped more than a petabyte of flash SSD acceleration
storage since introducing the product 9 months earlier. See also:-
In November 2013 -
it had has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.
|Many factors at play in
enterprise SSD market behavior still don't appear as explicit assumptions in SSD
product marketing plans.
One contributory cause for gaps in segmental understanding has been
the continuing pace of disruptive innovation in enterprise SSD-land - which has
meant there hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow from one
seemingly chaotic year to the next as they encroach on new markets.
Smaller nuances of user behavior (which are easier to discern as
patterns in a stable market) easily get lost under the noise created by headline
technology changes and the market's apparent willingness to slaughter and
discard once loved past industry leaders.
hidden segments in the enterprise|
|NetApp says - the time for
taking risks with enterprise flash startups is over|
|Editor:- October 1, 2014 -
of the flash startups is the provocative title of a recent blog by Craig Alger at NetApp - who
asserts that the "brief window of time where fast and agile (enterprise
SSD) startups can get the jump on large, slow manufacturers" has now
Craig questions how startups like
Tegile can expect to
compete now that "titans of the industry" such as NetApp, and EMC
(and by implication IBM, Dell, and HP too) have got their flash toys,
licensed and integrated neatly within vast product catalogs?
comments:- If you agree with Craig's premise - that all the disruptive
innovation is now over - then you'd probably also agree that it's not worth
taking risks with new enterprise SSD startups. Just stick with the big safe
vendors and you'll be OK.
You won't be surprised to learn I disagree.
This is what I said to Craig (by email) yesterday...
I saw your blog - Demise of the Flash startups - and might comment /
post about it. Liked the middle but disagree about the conclusion.
I would agree - if the pace of disruptive change in enterprise SSD
architecture had slowed down and if it already did solve most problems.
with a lot of very big
changes in utilization still to come - the potential market size for
genuinely innovative enterprise SSD startups (drives, systems and software) is
bigger than it was before.
"So there will more startup
companies to acquire, license from and compete with. No one's got a whole
stable solution architecture and credible roadmap yet. At best current flash
systems are stepping stones to somewhere else."
Oh - and if you're
wondering - which is the part of Craig's blog I liked the most (apart from the
cleverly provocative title) it was where he says "...those SSDs aren't as
expensive as they
used to be." ...read
shipped 59PB of SSDs in 3 years|
|Editor:- November 19, 2013 - Among other things -
it has has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.|
comments:- What NetApp actually said was "over 60PB to date".
My calculation goes like this...
The company shipped 1PB in
its first year in the SSD market - which ended in the 3rd quarter of
it's shipped approximately 60PB in 3 years. Probably more than 1/2 of that will
have been in the past year.
How does that compare with others?
It doesn't sound like a lot in the context of today's market.
to a (quirkily pro-HDD)
by Toshiba - the
analyst data which
projects that 8,000 PB of enterprise flash SSDs will ship in 2014.
I think the likely figure (PB of enterprise flash installed in
systems) will be much higher than even that - because Toshiba's data probably
doesn't take adequately into account the ability of some systems vendors to ship
enterprise grade SSD racks using consumer grade flash chips (rather than using
enterprise SSD drives) due to technologies like
- and the increasing appetite for enterprise SSDs.
petabyte SSD shipment