I think it’s really important to have this in your mind as you consider your Flash strategy, I’ve spoken and blogged many times now about how it’s becoming very clear that the biggest disruption being caused by Flash is in the Tier 1 space, Tier 1 is dead, dead, dead. But there are so many Flash storage vendors out there right now, how do you choose which is the right one for you?
If the workload you are considering for Flash is Tier 1 / Mission Critical then I think you have to consider the criteria that you used when you made your original storage purchase decision. Yes, features and capabilities are important, but so are long term measured and demonstrated reliability and proven world class support, probably even more so than any of the technical capabilities. This is where I’ve been seeing an interesting pattern! Often companies are leaving Flash decisions to the technical teams, nothing necessarily wrong with this as these teams are right to assess the technical capabilities of any new technologies, but here’s the issue and I’ve seen it time and time again, people don’t follow up with the next two most important questions…
1) Is this technology proven? how many have been sold? who else is using it for Tier 1?
2) Can this company truly support me should something go wrong?
Having been with NetApp for 9 years now and having witnessed how customers have really scrutinised our credentials as a Tier 1 support provider, the reality of which is that its probably only been in the last few years that we could really claim that our Global Support and Services operation really is at the level people expect for Tier 1. I therefore struggle to understand how any startup Flash vendor, whose entire company is smaller than our Support team alone, could be considered capable of delivering Tier 1 support.
There are a lot of potentially great Flash products out there right now, our EF550 is a one of them, delivering huge performance, based on a system that’s shipped over 750,000 units, this could and should be used for some Tier 1 workloads.
Our June Launch now brings All Flash configurations of our FAS systems, again based on 100′s of thousands of installed units, engineered over 2 decades, with huge performance, 6 x 9′s of availability and all of the Data Management capabilities that you expect from Data ONTAP.
But here’s the kicker! supported by NetApp! we’ve over 13,000 employees and a Support organisation built over 20 years to develop the support that companies expect to keep them running or to get them running as soon as is humanly possible on the rare occasion a problem might occur.
Tier 1 is dead, dead, dead, All Flash FAS is here and NetApp have the support behind it so that you can really consider it for Tier 1 workloads.
Here’s the video…