Table of Contents
Unstructured data now accounts for up to 90% of the total data under management for many enterprises. IT organizations look for solutions that are scalable, easy to manage, and fast enough to handle interactive workloads with the goal of responding adequately to increasing business needs. Scale-up storage systems can quickly become expensive due to the forklift upgrades and the proliferation of systems to manage, which also leads to additional complexities around data management, governance, security, and compliance.
The industry is responding with a variety of scale-out solutions that are easier to use than earlier versions were. These systems provide improved capacity and performance without sacrificing other important characteristics of enterprise file storage systems.
Most of the complexity of scale-out architectures is hidden behind the scenes today. Systems are more balanced than in the past, with improved efficiency, while providing the same or even better performance. All of this is thanks to the adoption of new technologies and integrations that take advantage of public cloud and other types of storage systems. At the same time, it is important to note that there is a general commitment by storage vendors to provide enterprise-grade data services for scale-out storage systems—something that was not very common only one or two product generations ago. These services close the gap between scale-up and scale-out solutions and expand the number of relevant use cases for these systems, enabling more options for consolidation than were available in the past.
In general terms, total cost of ownership (TCO) of a scale-out infrastructure is lower now than for a scale-up system, when capacities are higher than a few hundreds of terabytes and the IT organization needs to grow quickly when necessary.
The list of solutions now available in the market is very long. All scale to multi-petabyte capacities or more, and most exhibit performance as their other primary characteristic. But it is also true that there is increasing demand for data management and hybrid cloud integration—an area where most solutions remain immature. Many vendors are concentrating their efforts in this area to meet growing demand.
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.
Vendor 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.