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July 7, 2015

HP goes gangbusters with flash storage adoption

HP embraces new era of storage and drives tech industry digitalisation with big data.

By Joao Lima

At an exclusive roundtable held in London attended by industry peers, host HP promised to go gangbuster in the storage market.

Chris Johnson, GM for HP Storage Division, and Tony Lock, Analyst at Freeform Dynamics, led on the discussion surrounding the market readiness to deploy flash storage.

Johnson told the audience that the flash storage market shoot "at least 500%" in demand, while storage revenues fell 12%.

The VP said: "Cheaper storage has led to a change in the market.

"Storage has been an increasingly expensive part of the data centre. New innovation is disruptive and the market becomes crowded [with EMC, IBM, Dell, Hitachi, and others].

"The storage market is disrupted; it has never gone through something like this."

Lock said: "Customers want things that last a long time and are cost effective."

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Stating that "temporary revenue declined as cost reduction exceed capacity growth", Johnson proceeded to talk about the "super compelling moment which is now to transfer legacy storage to flash deployments".

The VP believes adoption has to answer the ‘three Ps’ concept. Customers want to get as good Performance as they need, need to be sure the technology is Proven, while Price is always key in both the customers and company’s decision making.

Lock said that what customers look in flash storage is better performance with low latency and SLA management, associated with reliability where lifetime guarantees are extended and affordable.

The analyst added that "ease of management and ease of adoption" are other two big lines customers study before investing.

Business opportunities

Johnson told the room that "storage drives business outcomes" and that "flash storage is going to happen faster than we expect".

The VP used the insurance market as an example of how companies can use storage to help them with big data and develop new revenue streams.

Johnson said: "Car manufactures have been desperate to take the data out of the cars.

"Storage has been so expensive, organisations were not buying enough, now because it is about 80% cheaper, enterprises can afford it.

"High performance storage is opening new revenue streams, and addressing big data opportunities."

The EMEA VP added that banks were originally the main flash storage drivers, but have since then become very slow at deploying it.

Johnson said: "Telcos have become gangbusters with flash adoption."

As for the European space, the VP stated that Nordic countries are better at adopting new technologies while Germany is the last to adopt, but 50% of the German market is already flash.

Lock said: "Germans are a bit paranoid about how their data is managed, what puts them behind."

Storage under pressure

Lock told the audience that nearly 80% of enterprises believe "we will be using flash more or a lot more" in the near future.

The analyst introduced a study by Freeform Dynamics where 53% of organisations said hardware costs are their biggest storage issue.

51% said maintenance costs are their second biggest problem with the technology.

Respondents said software costs (47%), high management overhead (38%) and service level shortfall (27%) also make their top five storage issues.

Lock said: "People buy storage when their solutions die or need upgrading.

"Customers also expect guaranteed maintenance support for five years, if not six or seven," up from the standard three years.

The analyst also said that 50% of senior execs do not appreciate the need to invest in storage and that 52% of budgets do not keep up with growth in demand.

HP 3PAR family

Taking the lead of the debate, Johnson said HP has developed the "biggest flash storage array in the world", the 3PAR 20800 which can host up to 15PB of data.

He said: "We are ahead of the competition to deliver these services which deliver very significant savings for the data centre.

"We are going to stay way ahead in the market and we have a significant opportunity to run this solution in the data centre."

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