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GigaOm Radar for Enterprise Scale-Out File Systemsv2.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

File storage remains one of the most popular ways to store data, both on-premises and in the cloud. Scale-out file storage is becoming the default choice for most organizations for several reasons, including:

  • Scale-out file storage can expand quickly while increasing throughput.
  • Object storage, although very popular, isn’t overshadowing file systems yet. File systems are often accessed via network protocols like NFS and SMB, and are still the data storage system of choice for a large number of workloads, including big data analytics, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), high-performance computing (HPC), and more.
  • Modern file systems are much more scalable than in the past, providing a familiar user interface and authentication methods with performance and scalability.
  • Legacy applications continue to drive demand for file storage. Usually written to work with POSIX-compliant file systems, the cost of refactoring such applications to benefit from object storage may outweigh the cost benefits, thus making file storage a preferred option.
  • Modern scale-out solutions are mature and flexible, with most of the complexity now hidden behind the scenes. In the end, managing a large scale-out system is less time-consuming than managing several scale-up systems.
  • Solutions that support data mobility across different environments are becoming increasingly important for executing properly on hybrid IT strategies, and scale-out file storage systems are easy to implement on cloud virtual machine instances. In this regard, GigaOm recently published the report “Key Criteria for Evaluating File-Based Cloud Storage,” because there is a growing demand for sophisticated file services on-premises and in the cloud.

Unstructured data accounts for up to 90% of what is stored in enterprise infrastructures. Therefore, storage that is scalable and fast enough to manage interactive workloads is crucial for responding adequately to business needs. That said, enterprises don’t want to trade scalability and performance for the data services and flexibility they usually get from traditional scale-up network-attached storage (NAS) solutions. Even more so with the advent of multi-cloud, users want the flexibility to move data where it’s needed, increasing the demand for advanced data services. At the same time, users want solutions ready to respond to increasing regulatory needs, data governance tasks, and risks coming from a growing number of security threats, including ransomware. This expansion of the IT mission is why scale-out storage systems are much more balanced than in the past and tend to encompass enterprise features like scalability, flexibility, efficiency, security, and performance characteristics.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.