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August 2017, Vol. 16, No. 6

Forget all-flash arrays, aim for flash-optimized storage first

All-flash arrays have become another shiny object, distracting us from what's really going on in the external storage market. Quarter after quarter, I hear from analysts and vendor executives -- mostly at traditional companies -- congratulating themselves on how fast their AFA businesses have been growing. This is happening all while the overall market continues to shrink because of macro market issues, such as public cloud storage, software-as-a-service applications and the rise of on-premises software-defined storage with hyper-converged infrastructure. This shell game is akin to politicians claiming to have reduced the budget deficit, saying "Last year, we ran a $700 billion deficit, and this year, it's $500 billion." What they really did was reduce the deficit's rate of decline; the actual deficit grew by $500 billion. Next step: Flash-first This has AFA vendors doing odd things. To get counted in this new shiny object market category, some vendors have created dedicated SKUs artificially limited to flash-only technology. ...

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