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NEWARK, Calif. – In a search for more IOPS to power business critical applications, SME and enterprise users are increasingly turning to solid state storage, but in the process 99% of them will overpay in 2013 for performance they don’t need and sacrifice capacity, according to industry experts at Tegile Systems (www.tegile.com), a provider of hybrid storage arrays for virtualized server and desktop environments.

But there is a solution to prevent companies from overpaying for storage performance: hybrid arrays that are architected to combine the performance of SDD and the capacity of hard disk storage to deliver a package that is ideally price- and performance-matched to the realities of virtualized data.

The market for enterprise SSDs is projected by Objective Analysis to hit 3.9 million units by 2016, up from just 382,000 units two years ago, for an average annual growth rate of 59%. Yet when compared on a cost-per-gigabyte basis, SSD is still orders of magnitude more expensive than hard disk drives, one of the biggest roadblocks to wider adoption. But the performance characteristics of SSD are so far beyond disk technology that many companies will willingly jump on the all-flash bandwagon to overpay for performance they don’t actually need.

IBM recently announced a strategic initiative to drive flash technology further into top tier enterprises to help them better tackle the mounting challenges of Big Data. The investment of $1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate new flash solutions into its expanding portfolio of servers, storage systems and middleware is a good one and focuses on the requirements of a segment of their high end users. But, according to Rob Commins, VP of Marketing at Tegile Systems, “Other than very complex environments and specialized applications such as real-time financial transactions, HPC and scientific research environments, corporate business applications do not require the luxury – or the cost – of 1 million IOPS storage systems.”

According to a user survey conducted by Coughlin Associates and Objective Analysis, the dominant IT applications driving demand for high performance systems are database and OLTP and more than 60% of those surveyed reported that these applications need only between 1,000 and 100,000 IOPS. Paying for an array built to deliver 1,000,000 IOPS to service an application that only needs 100,000 IOPS makes no sense when a hybrid array can service the same workload for a fraction of the cost.

In examining hybrid array offerings, IT needs to be aware that – as with any storage category – all hybrid arrays are not created equal. Wikibon suggests that buyers skip hybrid arrays from legacy big iron disk array vendors as these systems typically simply employ a tier of SSD bolted on as an afterthought to an architecture designed for hard disk technology.

According to the Wikibon report, “The hybrid approach is clearly superior both in cost and performance, compared with traditional architectures. In an environment requiring 15,000 IOPS from 1 TB of usable storage, Wikibon found that a traditional array retrofitted with SSD would be twice as expensive. The hybrid array also holds the potential for further cost savings by reducing the number of processor cores required to run SQL or Oracle databases, with database licenses running at $15,000 to $20,000 per core.”

“Organizations leveraging the right balance of SSDs should be able to reduce their average physical footprint while delivering more transactions (IOPS) over a similarly configured environment with traditional HDD only storage media,” said Dan Iacono, Research Director, Storage, at IDC. “In this space, hybrid arrays should provide enterprise-class data protection with feature sets that include snapshots, site replication and data efficiency such as de-duplication and thin provisioning, as well as performance, at an attractive price to the end user.”

Commins, noted, “If in addition to lower cost, users could get a 7x performance boost, have the flexibility of NAS and SAN from the same array, a ‘no-brainer installation, a data reduction of compression and dedupe of 75%, and the ability to deploy hundreds of VDIs in minutes, why would they overpay for all-flash or bolted together legacy arrays? Tegile users aren’t.”

About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications. With Tegile’s Zebi line of hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that is significantly faster than all hard disk-based arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.

Tegile’s patent-pending MASS technology accelerates the Zebi’s performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data so each Zebi has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning technology solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant, and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and virtualization management features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.