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storage market research

by Zsolt Kerekes - editor

There's one kind of market research report which you won't find listed on the website of any storage market report vendor - and that's a directory of all the other market research companies they compete with! Here's my list - compiled from over 20 years of past news stories - which includes all categories of market research companies...
  • Storage Clairvoyants - predict the future
  • Terabyte Talliers - tell you what's already happened
  • Storage SoothSayers - make your PR sound more credible...
storage market research companies list
451 Research

Aberdeen Group

ABI Research





Carmel Group

Coughlin Associates

Customer Respect Group



Dell'Oro Group



Enterprise Strategy Group

Evaluator Group

Forrester Research

Forward Insights

Frost & Sullivan



Hurwitz & Associates



IMEX Research

Infiniti Research

InQuest Market Research


IT Brand Pulse


King Research

Macarthur Stroud International

Memory Strategies International

Mesabi Group

NPD Group

Objective Analysis

Osterman Research

Parks Associates

Research and Markets

Ridge Partners

Ridgetop Research

Robert Frances Group

Semico Research

Silverton Consulting

Simon Management Group



Storage Strategies NOW

Strategy Analytics

Strategic Research

Synergy Research Group

Taneja Group


Techno Systems Research

The Diffusion Group

The Linley Group

The Spur Group


Transparency Market Research




Web-Feet Research

Westwood Marketing


Yole Developments


SSD ad - click for more info

Market research is often applied as a resource to help guide future actions.

So when I saw the Forsee brand in this banner ad above - from one of my customers Longsys - I thought it appropriate to place a copy here.

I've written several articles and case studies about - Branding Strategies in the SSD Market - which began with this question...

"Does - what you call the SSD... impact - who the SSD buyer will call?"


See also:- list of SSD Market Analysts

. FAQs for connected IT marketers
"Every year I learn new important new ideas about SSDs.
But every year I also have to remember to forget or discard old ideas which were vital to know before because they are no longer useful, valid or true." - Zsolt Kerekes, editor - what changed in 2015?
SSD news
Can you trust SSD market data?
2015 SSD market - the story so far
DIMM wars - the Memory1 incident
90% of enterprise SSD companies have no good reasons to survive
news stories related to storage market research
What were the big SSD ideas of 2015?

Editor:- November 25, 2015 - has published a new home page blog - SSD year 2015 - the 3 big ideas.

IHS names 3 enterprise SSD billion dollar revenue companies

Editor:- November 20, 2015 - Earlier this year I promised you a $billion / year enterprise SSD companies list (which I haven't done yet).

If you can't wait (and like short lists) then IHS has done this already for enterprise SSD drives (which excludes rackmount flash systems).

IHS's list of enterprise SSD billionaires include 3 companies:- You can see the numbers in a new article here (on Electronics360).

Among other things it says "IHS forecasts that the SSD market to pass $13 billion in revenues this year and will surpass HDDs in revenue by 2019 with $20.8 billion versus $19.6 billion."

As you may recall I said something similar (the SSD market will be bigger in revenue than the HDD market ever was) in my 2012 article - How will the hard drive market fare... in a solid state storage world?

3D X-Point could shrink DRAM market by 1/3 in 5 years

Editor:- October 23 , 2015 - Coughlin Associates has recently published a new report on Emerging Non-Volatile Memory and Spin Logic (163 pages, $4,000).

The memories addressed in this report overview (pdf) include PRAM, RRAM, MRAM, STT MRAM as well as the recently announced 3D X-Point Technology.

3D X-Point Technology will have a big impact on DRAM growth (with DRAM sales down $6.7 billion to $15.6 billion due to XPoint by 2020) with XPoint revenues of $663 million to $1.5 billion by 2020.

MRAM and STT MRAM revenue is estimated at $1.4 billion to $3.2 billion by 2020. Manufacturing equipment revenue for MRAM and STT MRAM production is estimated to be between $159 million and $294 million by 2020.

the Top SSD Companies - new 33rd quarterly edition

Editor:- October 1, 2015 - has published a new edition of the Top SSD Companies.

DCIG publishes new edition of its AFA Buyers Guide

Editor:- September 30, 2015 - DCIG recently announced a new edition of its All-Flash Array Buyer's Guide (60 pages, free signup) which - from a desk based research stance - describes, comments on, and compares in depth the features of key products in this category from 18 selected vendors in the market (AMI, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HDS, HP, Huawei, IBM, iXsystems, Kaminario, NetApp, Nimbus Data, Oracle, Pure Storage, SolidFire, Tegile, Violin Memory and X-IO).

Editor's comments:- One of the roles for this document which DCIG suggest is as a "short list" for quickly and conveniently getting your hands on consistently-presented, in-depth datasheets for a market snapshot of products from a range of credible sources.

As to how the sample list of vendors is cast - DCIG clearly stated they do not merely rely on vendors paying them for inclusion in the list. Nevertheless one of the problems with the authority of any "buyers guide" is the degree of inclusivity and (by implication) the transparency of filtering criteria.

When you include hundreds of products in such a guide from all known vendors - then the sampling process is transparent (and those not in the guide - need to make better efforts to communicate with their market) but when you have a guide which samples only a small percentage of vendors then inevitably questions get asked about how those in the sample were chosen.

My guess on the representational value of the companies listed in the guide is that it's compatible with the kind of shortlist you'd get by sampling from 3 broad criteria.
  • companies added into the list based on public revenue criteria and corporate brand strength (to ensure inclusion of older, long established storage companies)
  • companies added into the list based on search strength, or social media derived ranking rather than revenue (to ensure sampling of some newer companies)
  • companies added into the list for arbitrary reasons (maybe they've got a particularly interesting feature which the authors want to discuss as a counterpoint to others, or maybe the authors have some special relationship with the company which means they know more about it)
It took me about 30 seconds after seeing DCIG's vendor list that the above (or some reverse analysis thought process like it) is probably as good an explanation as any for DCIG to have constructed its list.

I'm not saying that's how they did it. But if you had to construct a vendor list of reduced size (and DCIG does have to because - due to their format - it would be cumbersome, repetitious and wasteful of analyst time to scale the guide to hundreds of vendors) this is as good a way as any other - for the purpose of discussing representational features in the AFA market.

So in that respect (unlike others) I don't have any quarrel with the sample they've chosen.

It sure wouldn't be my list. But DCIG's authors are aiming to produce a different kind of guide and they see their added value as coming from their proprietary vendor scoring criteria. And that necessitates a different kind of list.

In a free competitive market - reports compete for your attention - just as much as products. And you don't have to like every feature to learn something useful from them.

DCIG's scoring criteria is where I part company with DCIG's thinking. And this is a gulf I can't bridge.

I just have to look away from these pages to prevent my crystal ball cracking for reasons I explained when discussing an earlier version of this guide back in March 2014.

I think the scoring concept intrinsically suggests a much more stable, restricted and naive model of the SSD enterprise than is currently the case. In some respects the scoring concepts are like a bridge too far and sometimes to the wrong places and sometimes entirely missing some critical destinations.

Nevertheless I'm sure DCIG's new guide will serve adequately for many people who see things the same way as the guide creators do and who like their way of doing things. So I'm sure there will be more editions of this guide in future.

It's not DCIG's fault that the enterprise SSD market resembles at times the navigational uncertainty of Lost in Space (tv series) when in the very first episode the rocket gets hit by a meteor storm.

In the SSD market we've been through a whole bunch of similar cosmic disturbances and our rocket was launched with no clear destinations in mind at the outset. The best we can hope for is plausible pragmatic reinterpretations at convenient refueking stops.

BTW - I'm not suggesting that anyone else could do a better scoring job by using different methodologies.

Instead what I'm saying is that such a style of analysis is inappropriate because of current defects in enterprise SSD market models and the general understanding of them.

While that situation persists - such simplistic "winner" style guides run the risk of advocating the essential flavor of beef to vegetarians.

new SSD market report from TMR

Editor:- September 18, 2015 - SSDs with capacities of 80GB and below accounted for approximately 36% of the $15 billion global SSD market revenue in 2014 according to a new market report - SSD Market - Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022 ($4,795 133 pages) - published by Transparency Market Research - which says that Samsung, Intel and SanDisk accounted for over 57% of market revenue

Video footage accounts for 100 Exabytes per year of new storage

Editor:- September 17, 2015 - "Video footage accounts for 7% of the total storage sold worldwide for any reason" - that factoid is from a paper - Taming the firehose of media files (pdf) by a media management company called axle Video

In-Memory Computing market could be $23 billion by 2020

Editor:- September 10, 2015 - "The global In-Memory Computing (IMC) market is expected to grow from $5 billion in 2015 to $23 billion by 2020" according to Akanksha Gandhi, Research Associate at Research and Markets - who has co-authored a recent report -
In-Memory Computing Mark - Global Forecast to 2020 ($5,650, 132 pages).

"An increasing trend toward using analytics for decision making" - is one of the factors mentioned as likely to contribute to this 32% predicted CAGR growth trend."

SSD market slowing down?

Editor:- June 22, 2015 - In a new observation on the state of the SSD market - SSD Insights Q2/15: Slowing Down - Gregory Wong, President, Forward Insights said this...

"The weak PC market and tepid datacenter demand affected shipments of SATA SSDs in Q1/15. This was offset by strong shipments of SAS SSDs and SSDs into the channel which benefited from aggressive pricing, particularly in Asia."

tallying the SSD exabytes in Q1 2015

Editor:- May 28, 2015 - A useful snapshot of SSD capacity and market share in Q1 2015 can be seen in StorageNewsletter.

The original data having come from TrendFocus.

53% of SDS users say that flash is less than 10% of their storage

Editor:- May 12, 2015 - What percentage of the capacity in virtualized SDS environments is already flash?

An interesting picture is given in a recently published survey the State of SDS (pdf) by DataCore - which includes results from 477 IT professionals who are currently using or evaluating SDS technology. Among the findings:-
Datacore survey re flash in SDS 2015
  • Less than 9% said that flash already acccounts for 40% or more of their storage. And nearly half of all participants said that flash is less than 10% of their storage capacity.
  • Over 70% have flash in their budget in 2015.
  • 16% of those who had used flash felt they hadn't got the apps acceleration they expected.
  • 19% said that storage failures had caused unforeseen outages.
Editor's comments:- You can interpret these results in different ways. I see it as showing that there's still a many times bigger future market for enterprise flash compared to what has already been installed.

How much 3D flash in 2015?

Editor:- May 5, 2015 - TrendForce estimates that 3D will make up just 7% of NAND flash's average annual output for 2015.

growing user confidence will spur enterprise flash consolidation

Editor:- April 21, 2015 - In an new article today on I look at drivers, mechanisms and routes towards consolidation in the enterprise SSD systems market along with some other outrageous and dangerous ideas.

"90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive." the article

Web-Feet sizes 2015 industrial SSD market

Editor:- January 4, 2015 - Help is available if you're trying to grapple with estimating the size and likely shape of the industrial SSD market.

Web-Feet Research today anounced it has released a report ($5,550) which includes forecasts for Industrial Markets and Applications.

What's in it? Among other things - the report's author Alan Niebel says... "Within each of the 6 commercial sub-markets: Networking/Telecom, Connected Home, Automotive, Industrial, Medical, and Avionics/Aerospace/Military the forecast of SSDs, Embedded Flash Drives (EFD), and Flash Cards are quantified for over 40 end-use applications. This forecast provides a separate breakout for SSDs by form factor including modules and another section for EFDs and Flash Cards by form factor for units and average capacity and revenue. Geographic splits are also included."

flash backed DIMMs - new directory on

Editor:- October 21, 2014 - Although has been writing about flash backed DRAM DIMMs since the first products appeared in the market - I didn't think that subject was important enough before to rate a specific article or market timeline page.

That's unlike memory channel SSDs - which is now 1 of the top 10 SSD subjects viewed by readers after having had its own directory page since April 2013.

However, sometimes a market is defined as much by what it isn't as by what it is.

And so - to help clarify the differences between these 2 types of similar looking storage devices (one of which I think is much more significant than the other - but both of which are important for their respective customers) I have today created a directory page for hybrid DIMMs etc - which will act as the future pivoting point for further related articles.

Evaluator Group announces new report series for rackmount SSDs

Editor:- September 24, 2014 - Evaluator Group today announced it's expanding its comparison report coverage (from around $2,750 for IT end-users) related to rackmount SSD and hybrid array vendors.

The latest addition to EV's research area are product analyses for 15 vendors, including: Cisco, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, Kaminario, NetApp, Nimble, Nimbus, Pure Storage, SanDisk, SolidFire, Tegile, Tintri and Violin.

"Over the next 3 years Evaluator Group expects Solid State Storage Systems to be the architecture adopted for primary storage," said Camberley Bates, Managing Partner & Analyst at Evaluator Group. "Performance to reduce latency and improve consistency, along with reliability and efficiency functionality will drive this change. It is important IT end users understand the trade-offs of design and technical implementation to best suit their needs."

Using the Solid State Evaluation Guide to understand the critical technology characteristics EV says IT end users can clearly identify their requirements and priorities. The Solid State Comparison Matrix allows for side-by-side comparison of product specifications and capabilities. Evaluator Group guides IT end users through the process with product reviews and expertise on managing and conducting a Proof of Concept. Evaluator Group Solid State Storage Systems coverage includes products specifically designed to exploit the characteristics of all solid state deployment.

What will you be getting? EV is offering a free evaluation copy of their report for the IBM FlashSystem to people who sign up for it.

Editor's comments:- with so many different architectural roles for enterprise SSDs and different user preferences - it's unrealistic to suppose that any simple side by side product comparisons will suit all permutations of user needs. But having said that - any reliable information which assists user education and comprehension into SSD arrays is a good thing.

Some flash array vendors - realizing the futility of expecting that users will understand what their products do and how they will interact with the bottlenecks and demands of unknowable user installations and prederences - have instead side-stepped these delay laden hard user selection quandries - exaggerated by the very real personal concerns of getting it wrong - by instead offering new risk delineated pricing models - as described in my article - Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing.

See also:- playing the enterprise SSD box riddle game, storage market research, what do enterprise SSD users want?
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research would have come in useful here Market research can help you avoid going down a dead end track
Who are the top SSD companies? ... the companies which you absolutely have to look at if you've got any new projects involving SSDs?
the Top SSD Companies
Storage Visions 2016 - click to see more about this industry  conference
On a particularly bad SSD white papers, blogs and market reports ingest day you may be inclined to ask yourself:- Is it time to update my profile on linkedin?
Can you trust SSD market data?
SSD ad - click for more info
In the modern era of SSDs - the customer has received their education about what an SSD is - and what it can do - from many sources. So when they talk to a vendor - the customer says - don't tell me about SSDs. Tell me instead how you fit into my idea of the SSDs I'm looking for.
re-imagining the enterprise customer
"When I talk to SSD companies - an interesting part of the conversation is often trying to figure out how products - which barely exist yet - will compete and fit into an infrastructure which doesn't exist either..."
Boundaries Analysis in SSD Market Forecasting
"Like cosmic dark matter - the mass of SSD dark matter will be bigger than anything which we can currently see or foresee."
The big market impact of SSD dark matter
In the early 1980s - Intel's 1M bit bubble memory created a lot excitement as a new non volatile solid state memory technology.

It was positioned as a solid state floppy disk.

But it wasn't scalable or cost effective.

Intel spun off the magnetic division in 1987 to Memtech (who later made military flash SSDs) but bubble memory dropped into oblivion.
SSD market history
SSD articles on for business planners
Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide - some simple rules to help you stay on the safer side of the tracks in this maddenly unruly market.

Where are we now with SSD software? - (And how did we get into this mess?)

enterprise SSDs - exploring the limits of the market in your head - is about enterprise SSD futurology.

adaptive flash care management IP (including DSP) for SSDs - what is it? and who does it? This will be a disruptive transition.

The big market impact of SSD dark matter - you can't see them and they aren't in the market size reports which you just purchased recently. But you can't plan SSD investments or strategies without taking them into account.

Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street? - I'm like the Old Woman of the SSD Village who talks to everyone that passes through. No wonder I have a unique perspective. It would be strange if I didn't.
Power, Speed and Strength in SSD brands
Does what marketers call their SSDs impact who SSD buyers will call?

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