Skyera challenges storage vendors to say what they mean, mean what they say
- Published on November 13, 2012
- Written by Mike McClain, Senior Web Designer & Site Manager
Vendors across the memory-based storage system spectrum often use the terms "SSD" and "Flash" interchangeably. They also tend to fail to differentiate the term "array" from "appliance." While not necessarily misleading customers intentionally, the frequent misuse of IT terms, such as Solid State Disk Appliance, Flash Appliances, Flash Arrays, Hybrid Arrays, Flash Optimized Arrays, etc., causes misunderstanding in the marketplace and confusion for organizations trying to ensure that they are getting the right system to maximize the performance of their applications.
SSD stands for solid-state disk and is defined as a memory-based storage device with an identical form factor of a traditional hard disk and can be installed into a traditional hard drive slot. It is not simply any device that uses flash memory. Similarly, an SSD appliance would be one that can be installed in a standard storage expansion bay rather than a Flash appliance where the flash modules are located outside of a drive chassis.
The reason why proper description of a vendor's offerings matter is to ensure that an organization fully understands what it is they are purchasing. An enterprise solid-state storage system designed to enable a large class of applications with extraordinarily high performance, exceptionally lower power consumption and cost effectiveness relative to existing enterprise storage systems is vastly different than an SSD appliance that is more focused on the storage software that has been developed rather than the flash system hardware design. Distinctions such as this are important because customization may offer unique capabilities; complete storage services that make flash more affordable; or flash density and power consumption attributes that can provide organizations with an appropriate business advantage.
“What's in a name? More than most vendors think,” said Radoslav Danilak, CEO and co-founder of Skyera. “Words do have meaning and they do matter. It's not enough to simply use the latest buzz-worthy or search engine-friendly terms to describe your product -- that only leads to confusion in the marketplace. Solid-state storage promises to create significant new opportunities in enterprise computing. To help customers arrive at the right choice, it is imperative that vendors are able to properly articulate the benefits of each particular flash deployment and how it can best help them solve performance issues in the most cost-effective manner.”