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Enterprises warming to flash storage

Declining prices and growing familiarity with flash benefits driving interest, says IDC

Enterprises warming to flash storage
IDC admitted that some users are still being held back by the high cost of flash compared with HDD

Declining prices and a growing level of familiarity with the benefits of solid-state technologies are contributing to the momentum behind flash-based storage adoption among enterprises, according to IDC.

According to an IDC study of more than 1,000 storage administrators across the globe, many end users still see flash storage as too expensive or not suited for their infrastructures. However, this is changing as flash solutions become more affordable and can be applied to a greater number of use cases, IDC said.

"There are still plenty of end users who believe they do not have the workload demands or budgetary appetite for flash-based storage systems," said Natalya Yezhkova, research director for storage systems at IDC.

"However, we anticipate that the increasing availability of flash-based products across a broader range of use cases, combined with improved vendor messaging and falling component prices, will mitigate the biggest concerns to enabling even broader adoption of flash in the future."

IDC said that proof of the interest in flash technology could be found in the pace of adoption of flash-based storage solutions backed by numerous offerings from suppliers ranging from start-ups to tier-1 vendors. However, the research house admitted that a cohort of end users is still being held back by the high cost of flash compared with HDD-based storage solutions.

Indeed, in some cases, when the price comparisons are coupled with the assessment of benefits of flash for particular types of data these concerns are justified, IDC said. However, in other cases, these concerns are driven by a lack of suitable mechanisms that would allow end users to estimate the impact of flash on the performance of their infrastructures, the research house asserted.

"To overcome the concerns of these users, vendors and their channel partners need to not only keep the focus on the performance benefits of flash, but they also need to expand their messaging to include the secondary economic benefits it can provide as it is deployed in higher capacities," said Jeff Janukowicz, research director at IDC's Solid State Drive and Enabling Technologies unit.

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