IT Brand Pulse, in research, data and analysis about data center infrastructure, announced the results of the 2014 SSD Brand Leader surveys.
Global respondents to the independent, non-sponsored surveys were asked which vendors they perceive as the leader in fourteen product categories: All Flash FC SSD, All Flash IB SSD, All Flash iSCSI SSD, All Flash NAS SSD, All Flash System Management Software, All Flash Unified SSD, Flash Cache Software, Hybrid HDD/SSD, Memory Channel Storage, PCIe SSD DAS Adapters, PCIe SSD SAN Adapters, SAS/SATA SSD Modules, SSD Controller Chips and Virtual Server Cache Software.
We identified fourteen distinct flash storage categories in 2014," said Frank Berry, CEO and analyst, IT Brand Pulse. "In this still emerging industry, IT Pros selected 11 different market leaders, with EMC, Fusion-io and IBM the only companies chosen in more than one category."
Survey Highlights Dell EqualLogic , the leader in any form of iSCSI storage, swept All Flash iSCSI SSD with one of the largest margins in the surveys. Dell Storage's PS Series (EqualLogic) secured the Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader titles. SolidFire posted second across the board, with Skyera third in every category except Service & Support. "Dell is thrilled that storage users continue to validate our storage leadership year after year, and more and more are seeing that Dell offers the best price for performance for storage across the board," said Travis Vigil, executive director, Dell Storage. "Dell today can offer all-flash solutions at the price of disk solutions, on both our PS Series and SC Series product lines, and offer even greater value for flash performance in our arrays designed from the ground up to optimize performance and cost with a hybrid approach that includes various SSDs and spinning disks. Dell will continue to be innovative and make high-end features available to customers of all sizes, and we expect that our customer-driven design approach will continue to result in leadership with IT Brand Pulse customer surveys for years to come."
EMC , the storage brand leader, received two Market Leader awards: Hybrid HDD/SSD and All Flash System Management Software. For Hybrid HDD/SSD, EMC regained the Market Leader title it relinquished in 2013; repeated first place in Performance and Reliability; and this year added Service & Support and Innovation Leader titles (price went to Dell). NetApp, the 2013 Market Leader, was number two this time around, followed by HP/3Par. IT professionals' had 20 vendors to select from in a new SSD survey category, All Flash System Management Software, and results were a mixed bag: EMC as the Market, Service & Support and Innovation Leader; Dell/Compellent (Market Leader runner-up) for Price; and IBM (who finished third in the Market category) was picked as both Performance and Reliability Leader. "EMC is proud to be recognized for our leadership in the flash storage market," said Josh Goldstein, EMC's VP marketing and product management. "We began down this path in 2007, pioneering the adoption of flash in our hybrid VNX and VMAX platforms - and since then have continually innovated in the use of flash to boost performance and efficiency while maintaining the economic benefits of deep pools of HDD-based storage. In 2012 we acquired XtremIO, which has emerged as the clear leader in the all-flash storage array market, having surpassed a $300 million annualized demand run rate in only its second full quarter of availability. This makes XtremIO not only the preferred choice of end-users voting in the IT Brand Pulse survey, but of those voting with their wallets."
LSI , with their SandForce branded product line, was chosen for the third time as Market and Innovation Leader for SSD Controller Chips and received the Performance award for the second year. IT pros gave Intel the other half of the leader titles in this category: Price, Reliability and Service & Support, as well as the runner-up Market Leader position, with SanDisk, third. "LSI is honored to have been recognized as a leader in SSD controllers for three consecutive years by IT professionals who participated in the IT Brand Pulse survey," said Thad Omura, VP marketing, flash components division, LSI. "LSI SandForce flash controllers have continuously enabled differentiated performance, endurance and low power consumption in world-class SSD solutions used in the broadest range of enterprise and consumer applications."
NetApp , the company that pioneered modern enterprise NAS storage, was the Market Leader favorite for All Flash NAS SSD. Except for Dell's win for Price, NetApp took the lead in the four remaining categories of Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation. EMC came in second for Market Leader, ahead of Dell. "Organizations are using flash technology to accelerate IT operations, improve business-critical operations to new levels of performance, and unlock new business value. We are honored that IT professionals have selected NetApp's All Flash NAS as an innovator and industry leader," said Mark Welke, senior director, platforms marketing, NetApp. "This recognition further validates NetApp offering the strongest and broadest enterprise flash portfolio today. Our approach removes the compromise from consideration and helps organizations redefine what's possible in their datacenters."
Nimbus Data , who established early incumbency in all flash arrays, held their brand leadership position by scoring a three-peat as the Market, Performance, Reliability and Innovation winner for All Flash Unified SSD. Dell finished in third place for Market Leader behind EMC, and captured Price and Service & Support titles. "Nimbus Data is honored to receive this special recognition from the IT professional community for the third straight year," stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder, Nimbus Data. "IT professionals are the most discerning jury, which makes their selection of Nimbus Data as the leader in unified all-flash arrays, especially compelling and significant."
QLogic , inventor of this class of product, was voted for the second year (in as many surveys) as the Market, Price, Performance, Reliability and Innovation Leader for PCIe SSD SAN Adapters, and this time around added the Service & Support crown. PernixData and HGST/Virident were second and third, in that order. "QLogic has a rich heritage of delivering innovative, high-performance data center connectivity solutions enabled by a unique combination of industry experience, technology assets and talented personnel," said Tony Carrozza, SVP WW sales, QLogic. "It is an honor for QLogic to be recognized by IT professionals with another category sweep in this latest IT Brand Pulse Leaders Survey."
SanDisk took home its first Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader titles in our annual SSD surveys by sweeping Memory Channel Storage. It led by a wide margin over Micron (second across the board, except for Innovation) and third-place Viking Technology. "SanDisk is honored to receive this recognition from customers, acknowledging the innovation behind the ULLtraDIMM ultra-low latency SSD," said Henri Richard, SVP of WW commercial business for SanDisk." said Henri Richard, SVP of WW commercial business for SanDisk. "This product breaks new ground with its microsecond response time and high performance-transferring data at memory-channel speed. These capabilities will transform data-center environments by accelerating the most demanding workloads, such as in-memory computing, VDI and transaction processing. Together with Fusion-io, SanDisk now has the industry's largest portfolio of enterprise flash solutions to help customers more quickly build the flash-transformed data center at a lower TCO."
Samsung Electronics , a flash memory pioneer and global market share leader, repeated as Performance and Innovation Leader in the SAS/SATA SSD Module category, and for 2014 added Market Leader to its achievements. Seagate, the Price Leader, finished second as Market Leader, followed by Intel, who also earned the Reliability and Service & Support honors. "Samsung Electronics is very pleased to be honored for the innovation of our SATA/SAS SSD modules by IT customers from around the world in the 2014 IT Brand Pulse Awards," said Daniel Lee, VP, flash product planning, memory division, Samsung Electronics. "This award helps to recognize how we are continually extending the innovativeness and performance of our high performance SSDs, including Samsung's breakthrough V-NAND SATA/SAS SSDs such as the 845 DC PRO and EVO, the 850 PRO and the SV843."
Fusion-io , the company that defined the all-flash PCI adapter market, and now a part of SanDisk, captured two Market Leader awards. For the third year in a row, Fusion-io was named Market, Performance and Innovation Leader for PCIe SSD DAS Adapters. Intel, the respondents' choice as Price, Reliability and Service & Support Leader, finished behind Fusion-io for the Market award. IBM placed third. In Flash Cache Software, the votes were once again split up within a product category: Fusion-io was named Market, Performance, Reliability and Innovation Leader; IBM (in the number two Market spot), was handed Service & Support Leader, and the Price title went to SanDisk. NetApp rounded out the top three Market Leaders.
IBM , the current all-flash array revenue market-share leader according to Gartner, was the third vendor in the survey to receive two Market Leader awards. For All Flash FC SSD, IBM scored victories in nearly every category (Market, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation), with Dell/Compellent breaking up the sweep by being selected Price Leader. EMC and NetApp were second and third, respectively behind IBM for Market Leader. Another new product category added to the 2014 SSD surveys, All Flash IB SSD, showed IBM again commanding nearly all of the leader titles (Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, and Service & Support). However, it was Violin Memory who proved to be the top vote getter as Innovation Leader. Following IBM in the Market Leader category were NetApp and Cisco/Whiptail as number two and three, accordingly.
VMware , the leader in everything virtual, led the way in another new product category in the 2014 SSD brand leader survey by commanding Virtual Server Cache Software, with Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation wins. Fuson-io was the second place Market Leader, with Toshiba, in third.
IT Brand Leader Surveys IT Brand Pulse awards are the symbols for brand leadership. Winners are voted by IT pros in surveys that are independent, non-sponsored research. The surveys are designed to measure the pulse of brand leadership in specific product categories. Within each product category, respondents choose the overall market leader, as well as the leader in price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. Respondents are provided with a category description at the start of each product section, a randomized choice of vendor answers, and the ability to write-in a vendor, if not listed.
By CNBC.com staff
The CNBC RQ 50 is a new ranking of the most innovative companies in the market. From old-guard sectors, including industrials, oil and gas and defense to toy makers and some of Silicon Valley's elite, the R&D cultures within the RQ 50 companies prove that innovation isn't just about spending big
IT Brand Pulse, a source of research, data and analysis about IT infrastructure, announced the results of brand leader surveys (conducted May, 2014 ) covering storage.
Survey respondents were asked which vendors they perceive as the leader in fifteen product categories: 16Gb FC Disk Arrays, 16Gb FC Switches, Deduplication, Disk-to-Disk Backup, Enterprise HDDs, IB Disk Arrays, iSCSI Disk Arrays, Mid-Range Tape Drives, NAS Disk Arrays, Storage Performance Validation Appliances, Tape Libraries, Tiered Storage System, Unified SAN/NAS Disk Arrays, and VTL.
"Our latest storage brand leader surveys were dominated by five incumbents who won for at least the fourth time in a row," said Frank Berry, CEO and senior analyst, IT Brand Pulse. "Brocade, Dell, EMC, NetApp and QLogic continue to be perceived as market leaders for FC Switches, iSCSI Disk Arrays, FC Disk Arrays, NAS Disk Arrays and FC HBAs, respectively."
Survey Highlights For the fourth straight year, NetApp commanded NAS Disk Arrays by being voted Market Leader, and for the first time, swept the entire category (Price Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation). EMC secured the second place Market award, ahead of HP. IT professionals also selected NetApp as the Market.
Price Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader for Unified SAN/NAS Disk Arrays. NetApp took over the Market Leader title from two-time winner EMC, who finished second, with IBM, third.
Market Leader, Unified SAN/NAS Disk Array Brand Leader Survey, May 2014
In the 2014 Storage brand surveys, respondents gave NetApp a third Market Leader award-this one for IB Disk Arrays with the Price Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation titles. Oracle finished in second place across the board, followed by Silicon Graphics (SGI).
"It's an honor for NetApp to be distinguished by IT professionals as the Market Leader in three prominent categories, which further validates our team's leadership in bringing customers value, service and reliability through our innovative offerings," said Mark Welke, senior director product marketing, NetApp. "Most recently we introduced a complete new line-up of FAS2500 and FAS8000 series systems and Data ONTAP software portfolio to provide the flexibility and choice required for current and future enterprise application environments. Our FAS products drive the performance-intensive SAN and NAS workloads at the largest scale."
Dell/EqualLogic was another winner for the fourth year, chosen by IT pros as the Market Leader for iSCSI Disk Arrays, and securing all remaining categories: Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation. Second and third place Market Leaders were NetApp and EMC, accordingly.
"The Dell storage strategy is fully predicated on a customer-centric design point, so recognition such as this validates that our products offer enterprise performance with excellent customer value," said Travis Vigil, executive director, product management, Dell storage. "In the past few months, we've begun shipping our latest generation Dell EqualLogic PS6210 arrays and host software, offering customers up to three-times the performance improvement and industry leading flash utilization as Dell continues to redefine the economics of enterprise storage. Dell will continue to integrate storage technology across our portfolio and accelerate the delivery of innovations to keep Dell a leader in the minds and data centers of our customers."
For 16Gb FC HBAs, QLogic displayed its leadership again in an IT Brand Pulse survey as it captured Market Leader for the fifth straight time (the only vendor in the storage survey to win five years). QLogic also continued its control of all other leader titles (Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation). Respondents voted Emulex as the number two Market Leader, with ATTO in the third slot.
"Sweeping all six categories for 16Gb Gen 5 FC HBAs and being the only storage vendor to win five consecutive years demonstrates the overall quality and value delivered by QLogic FC solutions," said Vikram Karvat, VP marketing, QLogic. "With Gen 5 FC deployments steadily ramping in the marketplace, we're pleased to see that IT professionals continue to regard QLogic as their most preferred vendor."
Seagate turned in a repeat showing for Enterprise HDDs by, once again, claiming the Market, Price, Performance Service & Support and Innovation Leader awards. For 2014, Seagate earned back the Reliability title it lost in 2012 and 2013. WD received the next highest votes overall in this product category, followed by Toshiba.
"We are extremely pleased to once again be recognized by IT Brand Pulse as the reliability leader in the Enterprise HDD space. It is a true honor to be viewed by IT professionals and peers alike as having the most reliable storage solutions in the industry," said Scott Horn, Seagate VP marketing. "This coupled with being awarded this year's Innovation award is clearly in line with Seagate's mission statement of delivering the most cutting-edge, reliable storage systems in the industry."
Also for the fourth consecutive time, storage giant EMC was chosen as a FC disk array leader: this year being named Market Leader for the new 16Gb FC Disk Array product category (and Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader). Price went to Dell. Market Leader runners-up were NetApp and HP, respectively.
In addition, EMC earned the Market Leader title in Deduplication (repeat victory), and scored inaugural wins in Disk-to-Disk Backup and Tiered Storage System.
In a field crowded with 16 vendor answer choices, EMC captured its second Market Leader victory (in as many surveys) for Deduplication, and took Performance, Reliability, and Innovation. EMC gave up both Price and Service & Support Leader to NetApp (who was the second-place Market Leader with IBM in third).
EMC's strong presence in the 2014 Storage surveys continued by sweeping the Disk-to-Disk Backup category as Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader. CommVault finished in the number two Market spot, followed by HP. For Tiered Storage System, EMC was picked as the Market favorite (NetApp, second/ IBM, third) and was handed four of the five remaining leader titles (Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation). Dell took Price.
LoadDynamiX swept the first IT Brand Pulse survey conducted for Storage Performance Validation Appliances taking the Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation titles. SANBlaze was the runner-up across the board, followed by Ixia.
"The storage industry is going through one of the biggest transitions in decades, with flash and hybrid storage systems driving significant disruption to the status quo. Fully understanding the performance impact and ROI of these technologies is becoming essential to IT architects," said Len Rosenthal, VP marketing, Load DynamiX. "We're pleased to see IT Brand Pulse add this important category to their annual Brand Leader Survey, but even more pleased to see that Load DynamiX has become the industry leader in such a short time."
IT perceptions resulted in another multiple victor in this year's Storage surveys: Quantum, with Market Leader wins in both Mid-Range Tape Drive and VTL. Quantum led the pack of five companies in the Mid-Range Tape Drive space by claiming Market Leader (for the third year, in as many surveys) and picking up all remaining category wins: Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation. HP and IBM rounded out the second and third Market Leader positions.
For VTL, Quantum beat out two-time winner EMC/Data Domain (second in Market Leader), and IBM was third. Quantum also swept this category by taking Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation Leader.
Repeating last year's number one position for 16Gb FC Switches (as well as the 2011 and 2012 champion), Brocade reigns as the favorite among end users for Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation. Cisco came in the backup position as Market Leader (and in all other leader awards in this category), with QLogic filling in the third Market slot.
IBM secured the prime honor in Tape Libraries, as well as seized three of the five remaining leader titles. IT professionals voted IBM for the Market, Performance, Reliability, and Innovation awards, while giving Service & Support to HP (who finished second as Market Leader). Price Leader went to Quantum, who rounded out the Market Leader top three.
About the Brand Leader Surveys IT Brand Pulse awards are the symbols for brand leadership. Winners are voted by IT pros in surveys that are independent, non-sponsored research. The surveys are designed to measure the pulse of brand leadership in specific product categories. Within each product category, respondents choose the overall market leader, as well as the leader in price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. Respondents are provided with a category description at the start of each product section, a randomized choice of vendors answer, and the ability to write-in a vendor if not listed.
By Kari Hamanaka
QLogic's bid to be the leader in the Fibre Channel and Ethernet space under new CEO Prasad Rampalli is being bolstered by a revamp of its Signature Partner Program. Aimed at making the channel program easier to navigate, the changes include a move from four tiers to three and a lowering of revenue thresholds.
The changes are expected to help QLogic channel partners graduate to new levels at a faster clip, said Chris Lorenz, director of partners and alliances at the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company.
"It had been a few years since we had kind of looked at the structure of the program to make sure it aligns with some of the trends we're seeing and [with] feedback from partners. [Now it is structured] in such a way that it [is] easier to understand and allows them to move up to one level more quickly," Lorenz told CRN.
Some tiers in the old program had specific requirements around product categories, such as a revenue requirement for the Fibre Channel switch business, which Lorenz said made it difficult for partners to understand where they stood.
The new program starts at Preferred, which has no revenue requirement. The next level, Premier, requires $100,000 in revenue over the course of a year in North America. The top level, Elite, requires $500,000 over the course of a year.
That compares with the old model in which the Silver tier had no revenue requirement, Gold required $225,000 and Platinum required $800,000.
"Four tiers were too many to begin with so narrowing that focus and those targets makes it easier to follow and make sense of it," said Jason Cherveny, president and CEO of Denver-based solution provider Sanity Solutions.
The previously existing fourth tier that was part of the old partner program was spun off into what's expected to be the first of many Enhanced Authorizations, or badges, available to all partners. The first of those badges is called Advanced Solutions Partner and is centered on the company's FabricCache business.
"We see other areas of specialization where we may have additional badges," Lorenz said.
Sanity Solutions previously held the highest designation in QLogic's Signature Partner Program -- Advanced Solutions Partner -- and now holds an Enhanced Authorization badge, said Cherveny.
QLogic's January purchase of Brocade's Fibre Channel and converged network adapter business and its March acquisition of Broadcom's 10-, 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet business were key factors leading to the revamp of the Signature Partner Program.
Those deals, among other moves, "now position QLogic with singular and laser focus on Fibre Channel and Ethernet network connectivity leadership as our core foundation," CEO Rampalli told analysts during the company's quarterly earnings call in May.
The deals also could bring more Brocade partners into the QLogic fold as well as provide a chance for some partners to sell Broadcom technology, which Lorenz said QLogic expects to make available to the channel in the coming year.
The Brocade deal helped solution providers such as Sanity Solutions, which is a partner of Brocade and QLogic.
"They're definitely investing heavily in the adapter market space, so with that [Brocade] acquisition it helped us to solidify and focus on best-of-breed technologies," Cherveny said.
Furrier began by asking “What’s going on with QLogic and EMC World?”
“All kinds of changes at QLogic,” David replied, citing the new CEO, and QLogic’s recent acquisition of Broadcom’s Ethernet business and Brocade’s HPA business.
Davis shared the “play-by-play” of the Broadcom and Brocade acquisitions.
“We had a Fibre Channel switch business for many years,” Davis began, “When we decided to back out of that space, it made working with Brocade much easier.” Davis finds the new partnership between QLogic, “the number one supplier of Fibre Channel adapters,” and Brocade, “the number one supplier of Fibre Channel switches,” exciting — not only because they have access to new technologies, but also because “we’re really able to do some neat things in the QOS and the management of the data flow areas that you’ll see in some future products.”
The Fibre Channel and Ethernet Landscape
Rooting his question in the changes the server-adapter marketplace in recent years, Miniman wondered how Davis saw that market’s landscape. Davis called the Fibre Channel a “two-horse race” between QLogic and Emulex. On the Ethernet side Davis noted that there were a host of smaller enterprises, but noted that with the QLogic acquisition of Broadcom data technology, that business is also starting to consolidate.
No Merge in Sight for Fibre Channel and Ethernet Architecture
Keeping with his interest in QLogic solutions, Miniman asked whether Davis predicted Fibre Channel and Ethernet to merge. Davis responded that he expects the two technologies to “live separately for quite some time.” They serve different markets: “Fiber channel has a very established market. All the high-end enterprises have used it for years. Ethernet has a very established market from a different perspective as the basic connectivity.”
The Future of Fibre Channel and Ethernet
Next, Miniman asked Davis what he sees in the marketplace that will drive the discussions low latency for years to come. Miniman cited EMC’s recent acquisition of DSSD and the sub-microsecond designs they are using. Davis explained that moves like these indicate Fibre Channel is going to be key to the Flash space, especially at the 16 gig level and increasing quickly to the 32 gig level. Some, David mentioned, are also doing 40 gig Ethernet, so “high performance is needed for flash whatever the network underlying it.” Turning his attention to low-latency, Davis described Fibre Channel as a “high-performance storage interface,” one that Ethernet is quickly catching up with “technologies like RoCE.”
Fibre Channel’s Global Growth
In his next question, Miniman touched on the growing popularity of Fibre Channel, in Asia, and specifically in China. “It’s tried and true technology,” Davis responded. He also added that he believes part of Fibre Channel’s growth in China has to do with the number of Chinese technologists educated in US schools, where Fibre Channel “is what’s taught.”