This former EMC exec says Amazon ate his old business and it will never recover

| Business Insider

The enterprise storage market gave rise to multi-billion dollar companies like EMC (being bought by Dell) and NetApp (struggling to grow revenues), as well as storage units at Dell, Hitachi, and others. Overall, storage revenues dropped 2% in 2015, with EMC down by 5% and NetApp down by nearly 15%, IDC reports.

That traditional storage market, where companies buy specialized hardware called storage arrays to holds and manage corporate data, is never coming back, says Mark Lewis, a long-time storage exec, who was once EMC’s CTO and chief strategy officer.

There are two reasons for the death spiral, he says:

  •  Storage technology continually gets faster and cheaper.
  • Amazon changed the game.

With Amazon, companies don’t need to buy big expensive storage and store it all on their own any more.

Meanwhile Amazon itself, along with the other huge internet companies like Google and Facebook, don’t buy storage arrays.

Instead, these giants have built their own homegrown storage software that allows them to use the type of inexpensive storage used by ordinary computer servers. This lets them have faster, cheaper, and more reliable storage than the options sold by EMC, NetApp, or even relatively newer companies like Pure Storage, Lewis says.


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Global Data Center Storage Market to Grow at a CAGR of 15.01% thru 2020

| Press releases

Global Data Center Storage Market 2016-2020 Size and Share Published in 2016-07-26 Available for US$ 2500 at Description A data center storage system is a repository for storing business information or data for a period of time depending on the needs of end-users. Enterprise users can fetch these data and share them through interconnected networks or online. Data center storage comprises of SSD and HDD devices that are commonly used in SAN, NAS, and DAS environments.

Technavios analysts forecast the global data center storage market to grow at a CAGR of 15.01% during the period 2016-2020.

Covered in this report

The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global data center storage market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers revenue generated from the sales of storage area network (SAN), network-attached storage (NAS), and direct-attached storage (DAS) systems.

The market is divided into the following segments based on geography:




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Nutanix Looks to Move Beyond Hyperconverged Space


Nutanix, which has made its name in providing software for the growing hyperconverged infrastructure market, is looking to take a larger role in the data center.

At the company’s .NEXT Conference 2016 June 21 in Las Vegas, Nutanix officials announced additions to its offerings that are designed to enable enterprises to build out data center environments that give them the tools, flexibility, automation and ease of use that they find in public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) while keeping hold of the security and control of their businesses.

Nutanix is looking to grow from a vendor that sells software into the hyperconverged infrastructure space to one that can enable businesses to run all of their applications and that can connect to other technology platforms, according to Greg Smith, senior director of product and technical marketing at the company.

“Our ambition has long been to move beyond hyperconverged and become a platform for the data center,” Smith told eWEEK. “We’re not offering solutions, but a platform. We want to run all the workloads in the data center.”

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$1.5 Trillion Reasons Cloud with Data Reduction Wins

| By: (61)

Experts say the hybrid cloud will house 80% of world data by 2020 and that Linux will be the leading OS – making open source THE platform of choice for the cloud era.  From our interactions with large enterprise customers as well as with telco/service providers, we can confirm that both trends are happening in the market. One metric we have for this is demand for data reduction in the…

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Pure Storage’s impressive sales growth diluted by losses


ViewInfographicPure Storage is finding that it’s expensive to grow sales in the all-flash storage market these days.

While Pure increased revenue last quarter by 89% year-over-year, it was unable to reduce its losses. Pure reported $139.9 million in sales, which was better than analysts expected and impressive growth in the current storage market. Still, the all-flash vendor lost $40.8 million, the second largest quarterly loss in its history.

Although overall storage sales are declining throughout the industry, all-flash systems are picking up. Pure faces tough competition now from larger and smaller vendors.

The competition is prompting Pure to accelerate spending. Its sales and marketing expenses were $75.6 million last quarter, compared to $44.9 million a year ago. That led to a loss of $40.8 million last quarter last quarter, slightly more than the $40.2 million loss than a year ago and significantly more than the $22.3 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2016 when sales and marketing spending was $62.5 million.


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How storage is changing in the age of big data

| TechCrunch

ViewInfographicMany of us never pause to consider what that means, but data is growing exponentially — with no end in sight. There are already more than a billion cellphones in the world, emitting 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data every month. As more devices continue to connect to the Internet of Things, sensors on everything from automobiles to appliances increase the data output even more.

By 2020, IDC predicts that the amount of data will increase by a thousandfold, reaching a staggering 44 zettabytes of data. The only logical response to this data deluge is to create more ways to store and maximize all this information.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become major areas of research and development in recent years as a response to this data flood, as algorithms work to find patterns that can help manage the data. While this is a step in the right direction in terms of learning from data, it still doesn’t solve the storage problem. And while interesting advances are being made in data storage on DNA molecules, for now, realistic data storage options are still a little less sci-fi sounding. Here are four viable solutions to our storage capacity woes.

The hybrid cloud

We all understand the concept of the cloud. Hybrid cloud storage is a little different though, in that it uses both storage in the cloud as well as on-site storage or hardware. This creates more value through a “mash-up” that accesses either kind of storage, depending on the security and the need for accessibility.

A hybrid data storage solution addresses common fears about security, compliance and latency that straight cloud storage raises. Data can be housed either onsite or in the cloud, depending on risk classification, latency and bandwidth needs. Enterprises that choose hybrid cloud storage are drawn to it because of its scalability and cost-effectiveness, combined with the option of keeping sensitive data out of the public cloud.

Bigger data, smarter storage

While the sheer volume of data continues to grow exponentially, so too does its perceived value to companies eager to glean information about their consumers and their products. Data storage needs to be fast, intuitive, effective, safe and cost-effective — a tall order in a world where data now far outpaces the population. It will be interesting to see which method can best address all these needs simultaneously.

Interesting view from someone that’s been in the storage industry for many years. Thanks Don!

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WD is not a disk drive company – and not a moment too soon


ViewInfographicWhile you weren’t looking Western Digital stopped being a hard drive company, morphing into a storage company. Such transitions are nothing new for a company that started life making calculator chips in the 1970s, morphed into SCSI, ATA and graphics in the 80s, and built its disk drive business in the 90s and 00s.

The closing of the SanDisk deal puts an exclamation point on the transition, but it started in 2011 with the acquisition of HGST. The acquirer of IBM’s disk operations has since acquired Skyera – winner of 2012’s content-free announcement award, Amplidata and server-side flash vendor Virident (wonder how integrating that with SanDisk’s Fusion-io will go?).

Amplidata’s software is the basis for the HGST Active Archive System object store. Since the web site refers to “Systems” we can expect more system products from HGST.

The StorageMojo take
It’s B-school chestnut: the railroads thought they were in the railroad business – instead of transportation – so they lost out to truckers. Cheap flash IOPS has destroyed the value of HDD-optimized array controllers – which has dramatically reduced the cost of entry into storage systems.

Add to that advent of sophisticated remote management – much advanced over 90’s “call home” features – and much of the rationale for a costly enteprise sales and support force goes away. That further lowers the market entry bar – and rips even more value out of legacy vendor infrastructure – not that Michael Dell is likely to notice for a few years.

Expect to see Seagate follow suit. Samsung and Toshiba might as well, but both are distracted by other problems.

Congratulations to the WD exec team on yet another well-executed pivot to a larger market. This will be fun to watch.

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WW Enterprise Storage Revenue Declined 2.2% Y/Y to $10.4 billion in 4Q15


Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue declined 2.2% year over year to $10.4 billion during 4Q15, according to the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker. Total capacity shipments were up 10.7% Y/Y to 35.5EB during the quarter.

Revenue growth declined within the group of original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters. This portion of the market was down 14.4% year over year to $1.2 billion.

4Q15 Total Enterprise Storage Systems Market Results
EMC finished in the top position within the total worldwide enterprise storage systems market, capturing 21.5% of all revenue. HPE was the number 2 vendor with 15.1% share of revenue during the quarter while Dell and IBM finished tied* for the number 3 position with worldwide shares of 8.9% and 8.6% respectively. As a group, storage systems sales by ODMs selling directly to hyperscale datacenter customers accounted for 11.2% of global spending during the quarter

4Q15 External Enterprise Storage Systems Results
EMC was the largest external enterprise storage systems supplier during the quarter, accounting for 31.7% of worldwide revenues. IBM finished in the number 2 position with 11.3% share. HPE and NetApp finished the quarter in a statistical tie* for the number 3 position with 10.1% and 9.3% share of worldwide revenues, respectively. Hitachi rounded out the top 5 with a 7.6% share of worldwide external enterprise storage revenue during the quarter.

Flash-Based Storage Systems Highlights
The total All Flash Array (AFA) market generated $955.4 million in revenue during the quarter, up 71.9% year over year. The Hybrid Flash Array (HFA) segment of the market continues to be a significant part of the overall market with $2.9 billion in revenue and 28.0% market share.

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Flash storage: Has the hype become reality?

| The Register

Is the flash storage business a hype-filled wonderland or is flash-based technology making real inroads into IT?

Flash arrays provide much faster access to data, because of SSD’s lower latency compared to disk drives but they are more expensive to buy. This can be justified by looking at potentially lower total cost of ownership over five years taking into account power, cooling and rack array space uptake.

You could also look at cost per storage transaction if that gets factored into your budget calculations.

New all-flash arrays from startups don’t have the same width and maturity of data management services that traditional-style arrays have. When these existing array architectures have SSDs added to them, with their controller software updated to use the SSDs well, then such hybrid arrays can provide an attractive middle way between slower, all-disk arrays, and costlier and probably faster all-flash arrays lacking data services.

Modern array use of SSDs, and newer SSDs, ensure longer endurance than earlier SSDs, through management to minimise the write rate to individual blocks on flash chips. Flash arrays can provide greater IO rates than disk drive arrays, and do so in in a smaller space, not needing multiple spindles to increase the overall UO rate.

IDC Research Director Eric Burgener said: “Vendors are aggressively flash-optimising their offerings to provide improved performance, longer endurance, higher reliability, and a lower effective cost per gigabyte. The most successful vendors will be those that can make a smooth transition from the traditional, dedicated application model to mixed workload consolidation.”

The main disadvantage of flash, its cost, is being addressed by chip manufacturers and array suppliers. MLC – 2bits/cell – flash is now mainstream and SATA and SAS SSDs using such chips are commonplace. The arrays housing such SSDs add, typically inline, data deduplication and compression to increase their effective capacity.

Flash device controllers have become more efficient and need less excess and hidden capacity to ensure an acceptable drive working life, which lowers SDD cost.

Basically flash and flash-type technologies promise to banish both disk latency and storage array network access latency to history while continuing to decrease flash $/GB cost.

Already flash arrays are taking over the SPC-1 (random IO) and SPC-2 (throughput) storage benchmarks. Fujitsu’s DX600 S3 all-flash array snagged a good SPC-1 benchmark score, beating mid-range array competition in the sheer IOPS stakes, recording 320,206.35, and coming second to a 3PAR 7400 with its $1.54/IOPS cost – based on list pricing.

Suppliers of all-flash arrays are reporting good business. All existing mainstream storage suppliers are reporting double-digit year-on-year quarterly growth in their flash storage businesses.

Monolithic and dual-controller architecture disk and hybrid flash/disk arrays from Dell, EMC, HP, IBM and NetApp are showing declining or flat revenues while all-flash arrays from these suppliers are growing at significant double-digit rates year-on-year and even quarter-on-quarter, such is the demand. The AFA startups, apart from special case Violin, are also seeing strong revenue growth.

All-flash array supplier Pure Storage has reported beat-the street quarters while Nimble Storage, with its hybrid arrays, grew far less than expected in its latest quarter, widely ascribed to its lack of an all-flash offering.

The conclusion is that there has been huge latent demand for faster access to storage, driven by server virtualisation and multi-socket, multi-core CPUs increasing the IO capacity of servers. But storage arrays couldn’t satisfy it, and the servers and their running applications had to endure IO waits while the storage arrays struggled to keep up.

Having all-flash arrays means that the server’s potential is unleashed and puts compute and IO back in balance. And having all-flash and hybrid arrays and the disk array estate share the same management facilities and data services means that customers’ data centre management facilities are not overstretched in coping with the newer flash storage systems and sub-systems.

Customers are steadily moving latency-sensitive workloads to all-flash arrays, because the effective $/GB cost of flash, after data reduction, is now at or below 15K rpm disk drive costs and approaching 10K rpm drive costs. Once power, cooling and rack space savings are added in, the total cost of ownership of flash arrays can be significantly less than that of traditional arrays.

We’re not seeing a frantic rush to flash, rather a strengthening trend which will cumulatively cut into traditional array sales more and more over the next few years.

As ever IT choices need to be made in a balanced way and we can be glad that, today, we have more choices than before when it was just disk or tape. Now we have all-flash, hybrid flash and tiers of disk, all-disk, tape and the cloud. It means we can apply storage in a more granular way to workloads, resulting in better balanced and more cost-effective systems. Thank flash for that. ®

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Pure Storage shares gain after company narrows quarterly loss

| MarketWatch

Pure Storage Inc. PSTG, -8.13% shares jumped nearly 6% late Wednesday after the Mountain View, Calif., storage company narrowed a quarterly loss. Pure Storage said it lost $44.3 million, or 23 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $47.6 million, or $1.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue reached $150.2 million, from $65.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the company said it lost 12 cents a share, from an adjusted loss of 26 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2015. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report a loss of 16 cents a share on sales of $139 million. The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in October at an initial public offering issue price of $17.

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