Coldago survey: users love cloud, cloud-native and flash arrays; secondary storage surprises

An end-user survey by research firm Coldago finds users highly positive about the public cloud, cloud-native development, and all-flash arrays, with some surprising vendor rankings concerning Infinidat, VAST Data and Silk.

The End-Users Survey 2021 looks at storage and data management technologies, products, projects and processes. It also identifies end-users’ needs, perceptions and adoptions. The survey looked at 1347 US companies and 712 European ones — in the UK, Germany and France. Half the surveyed users were from enterprises and the other half from small and medium business.

The report is a series of charts and the first one looks at storage technologies considered for new projects in 2021: 

Each of the technologies shown has Europe 2020 and 2021 results followed by USA 2020 and 2021 results, so we can note the trends. They are ordered by the USA 2021 percentages. Cloud storage is the top technology, followed by all-flash arrays (AFA) and all-flash NAS. Somewhat surprisingly, tape technology is in the list, only slightly behind NVMe-over-Fabrics.

The specific features considered for 2021 deployment are: 

Archive and backup to the cloud are the top two, with container storage in third place. Looking down the list it’s apparent that parallel file systems are the equivalent of a minority sport, coming in at number 15.

The survey looked more closely at plans for container usage:

Just under half the survey respondents are using or planning to use them, with the European replies declining from 2020 to 2021 and the USA replies growing over the same period. The reason for this European rejection trend is not explained.

Coldago looked at the supplier rankings in block, file and object storage. In the block area suppliers generally had higher rankings in 2021 than 2020, except for the bottom six: Fujitsu, Huawei, Silk, NEC, Violin and Vexata (StorCentric). This suggests the respondents prefer larger, more established suppliers. Infinidat is now in that list, positioned at number 5, after Pure Storage and above HPE and IBM:

Silk, with the largest 2020 to 2021 change, has recently taken on fresh funding and will be strengthening its sales and marketing efforts. Hopefully it will reverse the trend seen in Coldago’s chart.

The file storage suppliers were next:

Qumulo has come on strong and is ranked number 3 behind NetApp and Dell. Then comes Pure, DDN, VAST Data and Nasuni, followed by IBM and Quantum. HPE, with no in-house file storage product, languishes down in 16th place, above Panasas and NEC. DDN and VAST Data are both highly ranked.

In the object storage sector we see: 

NetApp, to this writer’s surprise, leads IBM and Pure Storage. As expected MinIO is high-ranked, being in fourth place. Then come VAST Data and Cloudian, followed by Dell. Cohesity is in the list at position 10, above Quantum and Scality.

The final chart we look at considers secondary storage suppliers and that has quite a few surprises in its rankings:

First of all Quantum — recovering Quantum — is top, followed by Spectra Logic, and then the first mainstream incumbent supplier, Dell. Cohesity is next, with IBM in 5th place and HPE in sixth position. NetApp is down in eighth place, with the next supplier being Commvault and then MinIO.

This is the one area in Coldago’s survey where the usual suspects, aka established and proven leaders, do not dominate. And we learn that Quantum and Spectra Logic are both very well placed to win business — more so than Dell. Who would have thought that at all likely?