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2014 SSD Brand Market Leaders – IT Brand Pulse

Fusion-io, LSI and Nimbus Data for third straight year

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.

IT Brand Pulse,ssd

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. “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.

Respondents to surveys have included: AT&T – Server Administrator/Architect; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) – Storage Administrator/Architect; Boeing – Data Center Manager; Booz Allen Hamilton – Network Security Architect; CalPERS, State of CA – Network Administrator/Architect; Caterpillar – Server Administrator/Architect; Citigroup – Network Administrator/Architect; City of Los Angeles – IT Manager/Director; Delta Airlines – Server Administrator/Architect; Duke University – IT Manager/Director; EarthLink – Server Administrator/Architect; Environmental Protection Agency – Network Administrator/Architect; ExxonMobil – Network Administrator/Architect; Fermilab – Network Administrator/Architect; Ford Motor company – Network Administrator/Architect; GE – IT Manager/Director; General Dynamics – Network Administrator/Architect; General Motors – Server Administrator/Architect; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab – IT Manager/Director; JP Morgan – IT Manager/Director; Lockheed Martin – IT Manager/Director; Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) – Network Administrator/Architect; Lowe’s – Storage Administrator/Architect; Mattel Inc.- IT Manager/Director; Morgan Stanley – Network Administrator/Architect; NASA – IT Manager/Director; National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) – Network Administrator/Architect; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – IT Manager/Director; Northrop Grumman – Network Administrator/Architect; Oppenheimer – Executive/Management; PepsiCo – Storage Administrator/Architect; Porsche Cars North America – Network Administrator/Architect; REI – Server Administrator/Architect; Sandia National Labs – Network Administrator/Architect; Shell – Storage Administrator/Architect; Social Security Administration (SSA) – Server Administrator/Architect; Stanford University – Network Administrator/Architect; Staples – Network Administrator/Architect; Target – IT Manager/Director; The University of Chicago – Server Administrator/Architect; Thomson Reuters -Server Administrator/Architect; T-Mobile – Data Center Manager; Transamerica – Storage Administrator/Architect; UBS – Executive/Management; UCLA – IT Manager/Director; United Airlines – Network Administrator/Architect; Universal Parks and Resort – IT Manager/Director; University Of Michigan- Data Center Manager; University of Michigan Medical School – IT Manager/Director; University of Notre Dame – Storage Administrator/Architect; USC – Network Administrator/Architect; Verizon – Network Administrator/Architect; Yale University – IT Manager/Director.