In the enterprise data center market, flash SSDs are chosen more for their ability to reduce the footprint than the storage capacity. That space reduction, in turn, reduces the square footage that needs to be acquired, as well as the amount of power required for flash storage.
According to the results of 451 Research’s latest “Voice of the Enterprise” survey, IT organizations are embracing a range of new, flash-optimized architectures as they continue to transform their storage infrastructures. Overall, almost 90% of organizations now have some form of flash-based storage installed in their data centers.
Whether it is for enterprise or client use, SSD choices abound across all of the major manufacturers. For VARs, it’s more about understanding the needs of the end user as the basis for deciding which SSD to pitch. While there is some overlap with the discussion about computer storage vendors changing the industry, this article discusses three general types of SSDs to pitch as computer storage units for VARs.
With the growth of flash storage in the enterprise, many are looking for SSD solution advisement on where to optimally place flash storage based on the requirements of different types of application workloads. As one example, NVMe SSDs are increasingly being chosen as a computer storage unit to drive hyperconvergence into a traditional rack system in the data center.
In the general-client market, SSDs with an m2 form factor continue to be a significant computer storage unit due to its small form and speed in PCs, desktops, and laptops. That’s true whether it is an M.2 SATA or an M.2 PCIe SSD. That is assuming that the motherboard can dedicate all four PCI lanes to it. That opens up the possibility of available 10GB/s access speed.
While NVMe PCIe-based SSDs are much faster, there are very limited motherboards available that are capable of booting from an NVMe drive. For all but the highest-performance client PCs, desktops, and laptops, many CPUs may not be fast enough to make use of an NVMe-based SSD.
3D NAND SSD
The long-term benefits of lower cost per gigabyte and increased storage capacity resulting from 3D NAND continues to benefit the growth of SSDs. In the short term, the impact of a recent NAND shortage is expected to affect availability of certain capacity stand-alone SSD drives such as 120GB and 240GB.
This does not mean that all drives in these capacities are unavailable, but it does mean that VARs may need to wait longer to get the drive of their choice. VARs will continue to have a variety of choices in higher-end drives with more features as manufacturers place a priority on these higher ASP drives. That being said, DRAMeXchange expects SATA III to remain the most popular interface type for client-grade SSDs into 2017.
The market growth for SSDs is not declining and is only expected to increase as SSDs continue to be deployed in data centers and notebooks, as well as making inroads into client PCs, particularly for mainstream desktops. The good news is that while 3D NAND was first announced over a year ago, the first purchasable consumer models are coming out now in the familiar sizes of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of memory .
All in all, VARs have a fairly broad choice of SSDs to pitch as computer storage units from a variety of manufacturers in a variety of form factors and sizes. Ultimately, it is their knowledge of the client’s needs juxtaposed with SSD comparisons, as well as their ability to educate clients about factors such as SSD reliability, that will reinforce the pitch and help complete the sale.