Baffled by block storage choices? Read this!

A new report from research outfit Gigaom aims to help enterprises focus on the key factors in order to make the right decision when investing in storage systems.

Prospective buyers might be forgiven for being confused. Enterprise storage has changed radically in recent years thanks to developments such as flash memory, software-defined storage and new high-speed connectivity options.

The Gigaom report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Enterprise Block Storage” focuses on the vital metrics that should be considered for a modern block storage system aimed at serving primary workloads.

Technologies like flash memory and high-speed Ethernet networks have commoditised performance and reduced costs. Other needs such as better agility of the infrastructure and integration with cloud-based storage systems now play a bigger role, Enrico Signoretti, the report author, writes.

Many of the metrics familiar to storage managers still play an important part. They include performance, TCO, cost per IOPs and cost per GB.

What does the roadmap say?

However, Signoretti notes that many innovative technologies quickly become standard capabilities that are taken for granted, and so it is important to consider the features that vendors offer today and what they plan to release in the near future.

The meat of the report is the key criteria, including such capabilities as NVMe and NVMe-oF and analytics and notable vendor implementations.

There is also a lengthy discussion on how each feature might affect the metrics identified earlier in the report, plus a handy table that offers an at-glance guide with rough weightings.

Signoretti makes it clear that the impact of such features differs for every organisation, and so his goal is to enable end users to better understand the value of each feature or storage capability presented by vendors when making their own purchase decisions.

Gigaom’s report can be downloaded from the firm’s site here.

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