Flash Storage Analysis: Beyond Shallow Metrics

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This month’s Featured Reviewer is Chris Gurley. Chris has 14 years of professional IT experience and specializes in virtualization, cloud, and storage solutions. He writes prolifically, including on his blog and IT Central Station where he covers the life cycles of architecture and design, implementation, configuration, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery, as well as audit and policy documentation.

Chris has been an active member of IT Central Station, recently writing informative comparative reviews, particularly in our Flash Arrays category, including posts about HP 3PAR vs. EMC XtremIO, and Pure Storage vs. EMC XtremIO. Here are a few interesting excerpts from his quality reviews so you can see what makes Chris our Featured Reviewer:

“Leading up to EMC World 2015, IT Central Station asked how I would compare EMC XtremIO and HP 3PAR. Until recently, the flash storage conversation in my organization and many others has centered on XtremIO and Pure Storage, the leaders of the all-flash array (AFA) space. To that end, I’ve written a few posts already.  The hard part about these comparisons and competitive analyses is that we aren’t talking about products of the same species or specialization. I struggle to put it properly, but consider it this way. In pre-AFA days (the age of traditional spinners like NetApp FAS3040, EMC CLARiiON or VNX, and even last-gen 3PAR), the contest was like pitting a Toyota Camry against a Nissan Altima. They did most of the same things with minor strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Talking about XtremIO versus 3PAR 74xx is more of a discussion about construction-grade, heavy-duty cranes versus massive earth movers. They are in the same genus/genre, but are far from the same thing. Since they are different, we need to speak to some of the principles behind the questions and be willing to engage in a little philosophy rather than hanging up on shallow metrics.” Read the rest of his thoughtful analysis here.

The conclusion of this piece is also great and informative to our community of real users, “3PAR graduated long ago and has more recently picked up an advanced degree in flash. It has already checked the boxes of enterprise availability and expansion. Heck, it might seem downright old and lacking ingenuity. I think it’s just getting started, though. 3PAR’s deduplication is in its infancy, but its implementation has promise on other media. Then there’s compression. Already today HP can match or beat XtremIO in flash capacity with some to grow on (to make up for lacking data reduction). If it can meet the same needs today but then add a feature that would increase the value by even 25% in the near future, wouldn’t that be worth considering?” Read the full review here.


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