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Flash lights the way in enterprise storage

From being an expensive technology and something of a niche, flash storage is shifting into the mainstream, particularly in enterprises.

According to new research by IDC, although the technology has been available for a while, the adoption of flash-based storage is only now showing real growth thanks to falling prices and a growing familiarity with the benefits it offers.

As part of its biannual Storage User Demand Study, IDC conducted a survey of more than 1,000 storage administrators across the globe. It shows that whilst the pace of flash adoption is on the rise as more offerings appear from leading storage vendors, there are some factors - notably price - holding it back.

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"There are still plenty of end users who believe they do not have the workload demands or budgetary appetite for flash-based storage systems," says Natalya Yezhkova, research director, Storage Systems at IDC. "However, we anticipate that the increasing availability of flash-based products across a broader range of use cases, combined with improved vendor messaging and falling component prices, will mitigate the biggest concerns to enabling even broader adoption of flash in the future".

In some cases the benefits of adopting flash storage won't justify the price premium. However, IDC also notes that there's a lack of suitable mechanisms for businesses to accurately compare the performance impact of flash and the long-term cost of operation.

"To overcome the concerns of these users, vendors and their channel partners need to not only keep the focus on the performance benefits of flash, but they also need to expand their messaging to include the secondary economic benefits it can provide as it is deployed in higher capacities," says IDC's Jeff Janukowicz, research director, Solid State Drive and Enabling Technologies.

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The full report is available for purchase from the IDC website.