New Study Reveals Opportunities for Service Providers Taking Innovative Approaches to Storage

Independent study of SolidFire’s customers shows how service providers are using all-flash arrays to monetize storage and meet customers’ needs

BOULDER, Colo., October 06, 2015

SolidFire, the leader in all-flash storage systems built for the Next Generation Data Center, today revealed the results of an independent study that offers insight into how service providers are using all-flash arrays (AFAs) in their cloud and hosting platforms to sell and monetize storage and differentiate their services. The study of SolidFire’s service-provider customers, conducted by independent research organization TechValidate, highlights service providers’ degree of storage automation, the challenges they are addressing, typical ROI timeframes and areas in which they are benefiting from implementing all-flash storage arrays.

“Cloud computing is transforming the IT industry, with IDC predicting that public IT cloud services will grow about six times faster than the overall IT market by 2018. 1 This opens a window of opportunity for service providers to bring new cloud offerings to market quickly and outperform competitors when they deliver on customer demands for greater availability, performance, security, value and simplicity,” said Stuart Oliver, global service provider programs manager at SolidFire. “The study shows that service providers are using SolidFire’s all-flash storage to overcome the common challenges with legacy storage platforms, such as performance and scaling, while better meeting customer needs through innovative, automated, next-generation data centers that are more efficient and cost-effective.”

The 2015 Service Provider Storage Services Benchmark Report revealed the following findings:

  • Service providers make the move to SolidFire to eliminate performance issues (70 percent) and scaling challenges (65 percent) , followed by removing management complexity and overcoming a lack of automation capabilities. Of SolidFire’s service provider customers, 98 percent said that their multi-tenant storage infrastructure meets current IOPS performance needs. The majority of respondents said they expect to save 40 percent or more on overall administrative time for tasks such as performance troubleshooting, capacity planning/design and upgrades as a result of the move to SolidFire.
  • Service providers that have deployed SolidFire can monetize storage in multiple ways and are able to offer advanced SLAs to customers. While most service providers sell storage in a GB-based capacity model, 88 percent also generate revenue by offering different storage performance tiers. While it is no surprise that 90 percent of service providers offer SLAs based on storage availability, 65 percent who have deployed SolidFire also offer SLAs based on storage performance. SLAs and pricing are the two main ways that service providers differentiate their cloud and hosting offerings.
  • Service providers are leveraging SolidFire in a range of use cases, including public cloud (56 percent), private cloud (51 percent) and managed, dedicated SAN offerings (35 percent). Many expect to expand their SolidFire infrastructure to support additional use cases within the next 12-24 months.
  • Service providers using SolidFire are catering to a mix of workloads and applications on their cloud and hosting platforms. Web hosting/web content management (76 percent) and databases (73 percent) are the top two workloads.
  • Service providers using SolidFire are highly automating their storage operations , with 44 percent automating at least 51 percent of their current storage operations.
  • More than half of service providers surveyed realize ROI from SolidFire 12-18 months after implementation.

"Flash brings much more than just performance to the table. It increases infrastructure density and efficiency, lowers energy and floor space costs, and brings the opportunity for not only IT infrastructure transformation but also business transformation that can open up new markets, business models, and customer opportunities, improve employee productivity and customer service and drive higher revenue,” said Eric Burgener, research director for IDC's Storage Practice. 2

“SolidFire was born out of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world and purpose-built to help service providers meet their business objectives and solve their customers’ challenges,” Oliver continued. “Via our Fueled by SolidFire program, service providers can use our all-flash scale-out platform to monetize storage, streamline operations, reduce technological and financial risk, as well as win more customers and more service revenue from existing customers.”

The 2015 Service Provider Storage Services Benchmark Report collected quantitative and qualitative data from over 850 responses received from 98 cloud and managed hosting service providers around the world. All survey participants are SolidFire customers. The full study that includes additional insights, graphics and customer quotes is available here. Learn how SolidFire powers the most demanding data centers in the world. Read more about how the Fueled by SolidFire program helps cloud providers define, develop and capitalize on new market opportunities made possible with SolidFire storage infrastructure.

1 IDC, IDC Forecasts Public IT Cloud Services Spending Will Reach $127 billion in 2018 as the Market Enters a Critical Innovation Stage, 3 November 2014

2 IDC, Evolving Flash-Optimized Storage Architectures, Eric Burgener, June 2015

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