IBM on top of 2013 All Flash market

Gartner places IBM in the lead for 2013 all-flash array sales


Revenue from IBM’s FlashSystem product line increased 278% year-over-year from $43.4 million in 2012 to $164.4 million in 2013. IBM commanded about a quarter of the all-flash array market, as its share grew from 18.4% to 24.6%. The FlashSystem platform came from IBM’s 2012 of Texas Memory System.


Violin Memory dropped from first in 2012 to third last year. Violin’s revenue increased by 22.6%, from $72.1 million to $88.3 million, but the company’s market share fell from 30.5% to 13.2% in 2013, according to Gartner.


Under Gartner’s revised SSA market calculation, EMC is now able to count revenue from only its XtremIO and VNX-F arrays, which were released last November. Despite the short time frame, the EMC all-flash systems placed fourth for the year, with $73.9 million in revenue, and EMC held 11.1% of the market.


In fifth place, NetApp all-flash revenue grew 126.5% for its EF540 all-flash array to $71 million. Nimbus Data Systems also more than doubled its revenue, from $21.6 million to $43.4 million, and placed sixth for the year, according to Gartner.

Filling out the top 10 were Kaminario ($22.5 million), Cisco ($21.4 million), SolidFire ($20.4 million) and Hewlett-Packard ($8.8 million). The total market grew 182% from 2012 to 2013, from $236.5 million to $667.3 million, using Gartner’s revised SSA reporting metrics.

According to the Gartner report, end users purchased 5,281 solid-state array units in 2013 at an average selling price of $126,360, or $9.70 per GB. The most popular capacity range was 10 TB to 19.99 TB, with a total of 2,126 units shipping at an average selling price of $118,647, or $11.59 per GB.

Runners-up were solid-state arrays in the range of 20 TB to 49.99 TB. A total of 1,629 units shipped at an average selling price of $180,699, or $8.82 per GB. Just 171 solid-state arrays of greater than 50 TB shipped last year, at an average selling price of $223,169, or $4.36 per GB. But, that could change this year now that most SSA vendors are making available arrays at higher capacities.

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Solidfire offers unique partitioning for cloud storage providers

Aside from it’s comparable all-Flash price of around $4/GB, Solidfire brings a unique feature to the cloud storage providers; separation of data performance by co-located customers.

Its answer is providing an all solid state solution that provides fine grain QoS control for writing firm performance SLAs, increasing VM density (up to 216 virtual machines per rack unit), and the ability to eliminate noisy neighbors. It offers in-line data reduction and up to 85 percent utilization, so a provider can use more of the system than before.

“This is a fully automated storage environment with REST-based API for complete control,” said Prassl. ”You can extend the performance knob to a customer. And you’re able to deliver that technology below the $1 per IOP range, below the $4 GB range.

“This is a huge opportunity for the cloud service providers who only host about 10% of the compute that is possible today,” Prassl continues. “On the left hand side, you see test/dev/backup/archive – which all have low performance sensitivity. But what about apps like Oracle and SAP? SolidFire allows them to bring a high performance app to the cloud.”

Noisy Neighbors

The company says Solidfire gets rid of noisy neighbor problems when customers on shared resources start stepping on top of one another.

In terms of competition, the company sees EMC as its biggest rival, but also insists that it offers more scalability than SSD players like Nimble and Violin.” SolidFire can achieve a much larger pool of iops and capacity than others,” says Prassl.

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