It seems how much IT managers like their recently acquired flash data storage systems depends on the extent to which they’re actually using them.
Writing the past winter at Computer Weekly, Brian Betts, principal analyst at Freeform Dynamics, an IT industry analyst firm, discussed a survey his firm conducted which found that “most current AFA (All-Flash Array) users were positive about the technology’s value, both to the wider business and to IT specifically. However, non-users were much more likely to be cautious or even skeptical about the strategic value and operational benefits of AFA.”
In addition, the survey found differences between users and non-users on the question of which business workloads work well on AFAs. “For those with no direct experience,” Betts wrote, “the top target workloads were database applications and virtual servers, both of which were thoroughly hyped up in the early days of AFA, of course.”
On the other hand, users with AFA experience, “were using AFAs to support a much broader range of workloads. As well as databases and VMs, they included online transaction processing, mobile apps and services, virtual desktops, big data, and real-time analytics.”
Betts noted that his company’s survey hadn’t inquired as to why non-users were non-users, and he conceded that there may be “an element of ignorance and working on outdated information. Not everyone is aware of how fast AFA technology has evolved over the last couple of years from the niche-oriented first generation systems, or of how quickly its effective price per GB has fallen. As a result, there is still some residual uncertainty and doubt about the enterprise relevance of Flash – doubt which our experienced users tell us is largely unwarranted today.”
Still, he argued, the fact remains that, at least based on their data, “when it comes to understanding and achieving the potential of AFA, experience is a massive help. Once you have worked with it, you ‘get’ it.”