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How SSD will emerge from the Trough of Disillusionment

The Gartner Hype CycleThe SSD angst continues around STEC’s recent announcement, EMC’s reduced demand forecast and the enterprise SSD market in general.  Beth Parisseau interviewed Jeff Boles of Taneja Group on this.  He sees a lot of hesitation from customers considering SSD product in their arrays.  What’s the solution?  He’s on the right track:

“What the market needs is a good round of commodization.”

Customers are not buying enterprise SSD in droves yet because the uncertainties and risks outweigh the benefits: 

  • Will this product/controller/architecture be supported next year? 
  • What’s the long term roadmap for this product line? 
  • Will this vendor be around to support me in two years?
  • What’s a real-world annualized failure rate for this product? 
  • How does this product stack up with alternatives?
  • Can I count on the same performance from this device/system as time goes by?

You might ask why more people haven’t predicted these somewhat obvious questions.  I postulate that they have been relying on the maturity and consistency of hard drives for so long that it was easy to take such things for granted. 

The good news is that the industry has not forgotten about these needs.  Seagate for one has been investing for years in transforming Solid State Storage (SSS) technology into enterprise-ready SSD products, working with other vendors and associations to develop the necessary standards, as well as product capabilities and specifications that are predictable and dependable. 

Seagate is well-qualified for this role.  They have been making enterprise-class storage devices for decades.  The real magic of hard drives aren’t the spinning media, but the dependable ‘total package’ that works seamlessly within dynamic storage infrastructures.

That’s why Seagate’s entry into the SSD market last month was viewed by some as a much-needed step on the way to a viable enterprise SSD market, one that mainstream customers are ready to invest in.

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