If you've ever worked a trade show booth, you know how it goes – sometimes you get that sweet spot in the middle of the hall and the days fly by because you have so much traffic. You're running like crazy the entire show. Sometimes, you get stuck with the last booth on the last row and find yourself pulling your brochures into little footballs and pretending your fingers are Adam Vinatieri trying to kick the winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI. Well, I don't know where STEC’s booth was last week at VMWorld, but they certainly spent their time at the show productively, generating an unofficial poll on the current and future SSD market data indicates the technology has a nice, solid foothold in the data center.
In an informal survey of 136 attendees, STEC discovered that roughly 62% of respondents are already using SSDs in their data centers. Perhaps more important, some 86% say they expect to add additional SSDs over the next year. The pool of participants included a cross-section of attendees whose professions range from end users to enterprise-system managers to CIOs.
There was a time augmenting storage capacity with flash memory was considered a useful differentiator, despite the cost premium. When asked about that in this survey, the majority of participants indicated that they didn't consider SSDs a luxury but an obligatory technology required to remain competitive and that the increased I/O per second (IOPS) and faster response times drove their decision.
Based on the numbers, SSDs have a solid foothold in the enterprise market but despite their advantages for randomized read/write, they're far from entrenched, especially when it comes to business-critical applications. Only a bit over half of participants say they use the technology to store their most important business applications, and then they only use them on about half.
“These survey results reflect the belief that next-generation applications across industries require enterprise SSDs with consistent, real-world performance so that companies can achieve higher IOPS and faster response times," says Jim Ting, vice president of product marketing, STEC. “This supports what we hear from customers about the benefits of STEC’s solutions for enterprise storage.”
SSDs are no longer a nice-to-have in the data center; they're a must-have.
If you want to see the actual numbers, take a look at the results below.
1. Have SSDs been deployed in your data center?
A. Yes – 62%
B. No – 33%
C. I don’t know – 12%
2. Which of the following do you think will generate the most demand for SSDs over the next year:
A. Databases – 54%
B. Server Virtualization Workloads – 44%
C. Email application – 4%
D. The need for performance in a smaller data center footprint – 26%
3. Have you heard anyone at your company complain that the response time for a database or enterprise application (such as email) was too long?
A. Yes – 71%
B. No – 34%
4. Does your company plan to add more SSDs to the data center?
A. In six months – 33%
B. In a year – 29%
C. No plans to add more SSDs to the data center – 15%
D. I don’t know – 29%
5. What percentage of your business-critical applications are supported by SSDs?
A. 75-100 percent – 12%
B. 50-75 percent – 9%
C. Less than 50 percent – 56%
D. I don’t know – 22%
6. What is the most compelling reason to adopt SSDs?
A. Consistent higher performance for virtualized applications – 34%
B. Provide a competitive edge – 5%
C. Higher IOPS and faster response time for business applications – 60%
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