IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell
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IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell



IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell

IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell



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IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell IDC MarketScape Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Dell Document Transcript

  • EXCERPT IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Scale -Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis Amita Potnis Ashish Nadkarni IN THIS EXCERPT The content for this paper is excerpted from the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Scale- Out File-Based Storage 2012 Vendor Analysis, by Amita Potnis and Ashish Nadkarni (Doc # 238923). All or parts of the following sections are included in this Excerpt: IDC Opinion, In This Study, Situation Overview, Future Outlook, Essential Guidance, Synopsis. Figure 1 is also included. IDC OPINIONF.508.935.4015 A social and mobile world is impacting businesses of all shapes and sizes. It has led to a surge in the amount of data that needs to be managed and the number of devices that is needed to access this data. One of the chief requirements of data access in this new paradigm is that this access is continuous and consistent,P.508.872.8200 regardless of the physical location of the user or the devices used to access it. In the past, "scale up" or "monolithic" storage technologies worked well for a relatively immobile user base with limited and fragmented data sets. However, in this new world, the benefits of deploying a monolithic storage system are fast diminishing. Any performance or capacity upgrade typically requires forklifting existing storageGlobal Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA solutions and painful migration processes along with increased expenses. As companies started looking for alternative solutions, vendors brought to market scale- out storage architectures that would allow businesses to grow their infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Scale-out architectures give businesses the ability to linearly scale capacity and/or performance independent of each other while keeping management simple and costs low. This IDC study is based on an IDC vendor assessment model called the MarketScape. It is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that explain a vendors success in the marketplace and help anticipate the vendors ascendancy to be a leader in the market segment in question. This study assesses the capabilities and business strategies of many scale- out file-based storage (FBS) vendors. It is based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parameters expected to be most conducive to success in providing scale-out file-based solutions, during both the short term and the long term. As the scale-out file-based market is a highly competitive one, all vendors performed relatively well in the study. Key findings include:  All vendors in this study provide a scale-out solution (in certain cases, a scalable solution) that meets IDCs stated definition. However, leading firms generally have a broader portfolio that appeals to a wider audience. This leads to a bigger market share.  Smaller vendors however have more innovative solutions that rival solutions from bigger vendors. Many such vendors are focused on specific verticals such as high-performance computing (HPC), media, and entertainment. However, many
  • such vendors have acknowledged the need to make their solutions appeal to a wider audience and are moving their product capabilities in that direction. There are some vendors such as Scality, Red Hat, and Oracle that have not been included in this study but do deserve to be mentioned because of their product road maps.IN THIS STUDYThis IDC study assesses the capabilities and business strategies of leading vendorsin the scale-out file-based storage market. Vendors were selected based on theircapabilities to provide an appliance-based scale-out file-based storage solution,which features a distributed or scalable or clustered file system at the core. Thisevaluation is based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parameters thatgauge the success of a vendor to be successful in delivering a scale-out file-basedstorage solution in the market.This study includes a total of 10 vendors in the scale-out file-based storage space.The vendors enlisted in this study are (in alphabetical order) DataDirect Networks(DDN), Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), HP, Huawei, IBM, NetApp, Panasas,and Quantum.It should be observed that this study evaluates each participating vendor as an entitywithin the scale-out file-based storage market. Certain vendors therefore are at anadvantage given their size and broader portfolio offerings. However, IDC recognizesthat smaller vendors, whose primary focus in the scale-out file-based storage marketmay be limited to specific verticals, also play an important role by bringing to marketpotentially disruptive technologies.MethodologyIDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and selected vendors. IDC analysts tailorthe range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured throughstructured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants, andend users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys, and theinput of a review board of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individualvendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions in the IDC MarketScape, on detailedsurveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information, and end-userexperiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of eachvendors characteristics, behavior, and capability.©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 2
  • SITUATION OVERVIEWIntroductionMany organizations, regardless of their size, are seeing an enormous increase indata. This brings unprecedented performance challenges and data managementcomplexities. The increase in amount of data means an increased need for capacity,bandwidth, and compute resources for IT organizations. In addition, owing to thegeographical nature of business, storage investments are driven by the need toorganize and distribute files. As a consequence, quality of service, uninterruptedperformance, compliance, and data protection are top priorities for IT organizations.All these factors make data management a complicated task.Specific verticals such as healthcare, life sciences, media and entertainment, and oiland gas demand efficient storage, organization, long-term retention, and timelyretrieval of files. It is this demand that is driving the scale-out file-based storagemarket. While the need for scale-out file-based storage really came from specificindustries, many organizations of varying sizes with focus on other verticals are facedwith similar problems.While IDC recognizes that the requirements for each industry are different, this IDCMarketScape is focusing on scale-out file-based storage holistically rather than astudy specific to an industry or a market segment.FUTURE OUTLOOKIDC MarketScape: Worldwide Scale-Out File-Based Storage Vendor AssessmentThe IDC MarketScape vendor assessment for the scale-out file-based storage marketrepresents IDCs assessment on which vendors are well positioned today throughcurrent capabilities and which are best positioned to gain market share over the nextfew years. Positioning in the upper right of the grid indicates that vendors are wellpositioned to gain market share. For the purposes of discussion, IDC divided potentialkey strategy measures for success into two primary categories: capabilities andstrategies.Positioning on the y-axis reflects the vendors current capabilities around scale-outfile-based storage and how well aligned it is to customer needs. The capabilitiescategory focuses on the capabilities of the vendor and product today, here and now.Under this category, IDC analysts will look at how well a vendor is building/deliveringcapabilities that enable it to execute its chosen strategy in the market. Positioning onthe x-axis, or strategies axis, indicates how well the vendors future strategy alignswith what customers will require in three to five years. The strategies categoryfocuses on high-level strategic decisions and underlying assumptions about offerings,customer segments, business, and go-to-market plans for the future, in this casedefined as the next 18 months. Under this category, analysts look at whether or not asuppliers strategies in various areas are aligned with customer requirements (andspending) over a defined future time period.©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 3
  • Figure 1 shows each vendors position in the vendor assessment chart. Its marketshare is indicated by the size of the bubble, and a (+), (-), or (=) icon indicateswhether or not the vendor is growing faster than, slower than, or even with,respectively, overall market growth.FIGURE 1IDC MarketScape Scale-Out File-Based Storage Vendor AssessmentNote: This IDC MarketScape is an evaluation of scale-out file-based vendors.Source: IDC, 2012Vendor Summary AnalysisIn this section, we provide background information on vendors in this IDCMarketScape and their capability and strategy and IDCs qualitative assessment.©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 4
  • DellDell continues to tread down on the path of bolstering its storage portfolio withacquisitions. Dell seems to have hit a stride in integrating its portfolio products and indeveloping a clear message for the market in IDCs opinion: a set of feature-rich andaffordable products with little to no hidden costs. However, as with any such strategy— especially in the scale-out NAS market — Dell faces an uphill battle in dealing withmissing technological bits and pieces.Dell has made substantial investments over the past few years in acquiring anddeveloping storage technologies in a strategy to build out a full-service storagesystems portfolio. Dells EqualLogic and Compellent acquisitions were largely focusedon the option to replace the products sold via the companys OEM relationship withEMC. Risking this relationship and eventually dissolving it, Dell built a Fluid Datastrategy that is designed to make its portfolio more solutions focused, emphasize"better together" technology integration, and offer its customers a continuum from adevice-centric datacenter to the cloud.Dells investment in the Fluid File System (FluidFS), based on the acquisition ofExanet IP, was largely borne out of the companys Fluid Data strategy and is focusedon enablement (i.e., the FluidFS platform provides consistent file services across thevarious disparate block-only platforms). Realizing that file-based storage technologieswere becoming the next necessity in most datacenter environments, Dell integratedFluidFS with its block-only EqualLogic, Compellent, and PowerVault platforms. Inwhat Dell calls as Fluid Data Architecture, the FluidFS offers a common set of datamanagement services and access interfaces. In other words, the FluidFS will enablecustomers to use PowerVault, Compellent, and EqualLogic systems for their SAN andNAS needs at the same time.At the core, FluidFS is a scale-out NAS platform leveraging a symmetric cluster ofNAS controllers in a SAN-based architecture. Dell provides three different FluidFSmodels for its three SAN product families, each with administration and storageprovisioning models aligned with the SAN solution. FluidFS utilizes a write-backcaching model for high-write performance and leverages write-cache mirroringbetween HA controller pairs to ensure data integrity. FluidFS NAS products supportstandard CIFS and NFS protocols through a virtualized and load-balanced front-endsupporting 1GbE and 10GbE connectivity. These products support single namespacescalability up to 1PB today, and Dell promises higher levels of capacity in the future.©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 5
  • Like many other distributed file systems, the largest areas for R&D investment aredata management services and access interfaces. Dell is prioritizing these overtapping into the full potential for the FluidFS NAS platform to be a high-performance,high-capacity scale-out platform. Dell may have a leg up against its competition withIP from Ocarina, which it acquired in 2010, and an in-house-developed IP, but untilwe see the fruits of the integration effort, it is difficult for IDC to rank Dell any higherthan a major player.IDC believes that while Dell may struggle to shift from being an IP reseller to being anowner of storage IP, it deserves credit for taking on the risk in doing so. For example,when Dell walked away from the EMC relationship, Dells customers that were usingEMC Celerra or VNX arrays were left without a suitable Dell-owned file-storageplatform. As a result, customers that bought EMC storage from Dell were left with adecision to choose between the storage technology and the supplier, hurting Dellscustomer retention capability.However, Dell is working through these challenges as quickly and efficiently aspossible. So where Dell may have ranked lower on the capability side, it hasrecovered somewhat on the future strategy side. Dell makes its road maps accessibleto its customers and channel partners with a horizon of 18 months, under NDA, withmore precisely planned specifications typically visible 12 months out. This coversend-of-life and support plans. Customers can learn of Dells road map either directlyvia Dell or via a certified Dell reseller of choice.Dell positions itself as a solution provider and as such it provides professionalservices as an enhancement to its storage portfolio. Dells services are availabledirectly from Dell or from the companys partners that provide their own value-addedservices. Certified partners receive extensive training and marketing cofunding. Dellalso works very hard to monitor customer satisfaction with dedicated teams,ultimately feeding back reports to the R&D department. The company also showssigns of efforts to engage in more in-depth discussions with the customers in order tobetter understand their needs and offer solutions that fit the customers needs. This isa positive shift away from Dells traditional high-volume business practices, which willultimately benefit the customers and the company as well.Dell is a Major Player in this IDC MarketScape.ESSENTIAL GUIDANCEAdvice for VendorsThe scale-out file-based storage market is getting increasingly competitive andcrowded. Suppliers of all backgrounds and sizes are entering the market — each withits own unique and compelling value proposition. On the one hand, incumbentstorage suppliers with a proven track record in the industry are using scale-outsolutions to expand market reach beyond the capabilities of their traditional scale-upofferings. The focus of such incumbents is to move their scale-out offerings to bemore mainstream in terms of general file-based storage capabilities. On the otherhand, suppliers with a core focus on data protection or high-performance computing©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 6
  • are leveraging scale-out solutions to further penetrate their established use cases intheir respective core customer base.Despite an increasing number of suppliers entering the scale-out market, this marketis still a highly emerging market — and will remain so for a few more years. There area few key reasons for these, including the fact that scale-out systems are becomingincreasingly object aware from a data organization and access perspective andsuppliers are looking to diversify the use cases for their scale-out solutions.Virtualization and big data are two such examples. Therefore, buyers and vendorsshould not interpret this IDC MarketScape on the lines that "bigger is better." In fact,every vendor, regardless of its present market size, will have to ensure that itsstrategy is to position its scale-out solution to appeal to a broader set of use cases.Focusing on niche use cases in this emerging market will be a risky proposition.Advice for BuyersAll companies, regardless of size, are faced with the issue of data growth. While therate of growth may differ from company to company, there is no doubt thatorganizations will have to consider new approaches for dealing with their data growth.Adoption of the cloud may be an option for small and midsize organizations. Manyothers will require new storage solutions optimized for content ingest, storage, andaccess. Regardless of the difference in the size of the environment, there are somefundamental elements that any organization should consider when evaluating a scale-out file-based solution: Scalability: Scalability is not just from a hardware perspective but also from throughput, file size, and file volume perspectives. A solution appropriate for a given environment will allow each dimension to scale independently. Management: Data layout and organization is an important piece as it may have performance, efficiency, and availability implications. Over time, as data grows, organizations will face the need to mine existing data for patterns that may build new business cases around new findings. A solution that supports advanced metadata, indexing, and analytics will be key. Efficiency: The larger the data set and bigger the storage system, the greater the need of data management and reduction techniques (data deduplication, compression, thin provisioning, etc.). Data optimization technologies (automated data tiering) will also be essential. A solution appropriate for a given environment will allow many if not all of the above mentioned features to be implemented and recalibrated without major disruptions.LE ARN MORERelated Research How Distributed File Systems Are Rewriting the Future of the Storage Ecosystem (IDC #236517, August 2012)©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 7
  •  The Future for Namespaces in File-Based Storage (IDC #236010, July 2012) Worldwide File-Based Storage 2012–2016 Forecast: Solutions for Content Delivery, Virtualization, Archiving, and Big Data Continue to Expand (IDC #235910, July 2012) Worldwide Storage and Virtualized x86 Environments 2012–2016 Forecast (IDC #235868, July 2012) Worldwide File-Based Storage 2011–2015 Forecast: Foundation Solutions for Content Delivery, Archiving, and Big Data (IDC #231910, December 2011) Worldwide Archival Storage Solutions 2011–2015 Forecast: Archiving Needs Thrive in an Information-Thirsty World (IDC #230762, October 2011) Mezeo Accelerates the Move to Cloud Storage (IDC #231082, October 2011) Quantum StorNext: High-Performance Scale-Out File System Solution for Large Data Types (IDC #230916, October 2011) Caringos Steady Revenue Growth Highlights Bright Future for Object-Based Storage: The Cloud and the Enterprise (IDC #230632, September 2011) Worldwide Enterprise Storage for Public and Private Cloud 2011–2015 Forecast: Enabling Public Cloud Service Providers and Private Clouds (IDC #230283, September 2011) Hitachi Data Systems Acquires BlueArc: Long Expected, Easy to Digest (IDC #230275, September 2011) Scality: Scale-Out Storage Solutions for Todays Petabyte-Scale Content Depots (IDC #230021, August 2011) HP X9000 Takes the Solution Path to Address Pain Points in Unstructured File Growth (IDC #229598, July 2011)SynopsisThis IDC study represents the vendor assessment model called the IDCMarketScape. This study is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of thecharacteristics that explain a vendors success in the scale-out file-based storagemarketplace and help anticipate the vendors ascendancy. IDC assesses thecapabilities and business strategies of many scale-out file-based storage vendors.This evaluation is based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parametersexpected to be most conducive to success in providing scale-out file-based storagesolutions, during both the short term and the long term."The growth of file data, new workloads, and use cases will continue to driveinnovation and adoption of the scale-out file-based storage systems. Support forcloud as a tier, virtualized environments, big data, and content repositories areessential for vendors success in this market," said Amita Potnis, senior research©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 8
  • analyst, Storage Systems. "User demands will continue to be better defined overtime; however, scalability, interoperability, ease of management, and cost efficiencyare most important."Copyright NoticeThis IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligenceservice, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, andconferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consultingservices. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Pleasecontact the IDC Hotline at 800.343.4952, ext. 7988 (or +1.508.988.7988) for information on applying the price of this document toward thepurchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights.Copyright 2012 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.©2012 IDC #238923e_Dell 9