IT: Thanks for your time today. Let’s get right to it: Across the range of customers you talk to, are there common themes, needs, strategic objectives that bring them into the marketplace to explore their flash storage options?
SO: Yes. There are three main themes that I hear. First is the performance-driven search. Many companies have performance-driven applications, and they are looking for the fastest available infrastructure to run them on.
Data bases are usually offered as the example, but any application that needs to run in a limited time window can be considered “performance driven” or perhaps “storage performance limited” is more accurate, especially in a world where those applications are supported by decades-old spinning media or dead-end, performance limited SSDs and data is growing at 40-50% every year.
All Flash Arrays have been meeting those needs for years. One customer recently wrote up a description for us showing how improved I/O performance from All Flash Arrays helped them tap into a new revenue stream worth $100 Million annually, just by processing customer upgrade requests more quickly.
Primary Storage Data Protection
I also hear a great many customers describe some problem, some interruption in data availability, which sends them into the marketplace. One customer recently told us about an outage that cost them half a million dollars in lost productivity. They went out to find a modern, flash-based option with the kind of data protection services that had been available on legacy HDD-based arrays, but are only recently available on Flash Storage Platforms.
That customer implemented a stretch cluster for high availability data access and migrated their 500 person software engineering team to an agile development model at the same time. They exploited data protection and performance features to radically modernize and harden their business operations.
All Flash Strategy
Lastly, we hear frequently about customers with legacy storage nearing the end of a maintenance contract. They have been monitoring developments in the Flash Storage market for some time because they anticipate that when the legacy array vendor delivers a maintenance renewal proposal, the costs will skyrocket. It’s a game legacy array vendors play to move customers to their own newer platforms, but customers often respond by going out to bid across a wider array of vendors to counteract this heavy handed technique.
When customers take a look at the surprisingly good initial purchase economics, the ongoing operating cost advantages of All Flash Arrays, the performance and the data protection features, many customers opt for a wholesale shift in their storage strategy toward all flash storage across the entire data center for performance driven and mainstay applications like ERP, G/L, and other so-called “lifeblood” applications. And many chose to go with a vendor focused on Flash Storage, a vendor with a track record of platform development, not a collection of point products and not one that plugged a gap in a mashup product portfolio.
IT: Thank you for those thoughts and the examples you’ve shared of actual customer experiences with All Flash Array performance and data protection. If someone wanted to learn more, where would you point them?
SO: The Violin Systems website has some good information. Look at http://info.violin-memory.com/be-instrumental.html for customer experience and useful material from industry analysts. Anyone who wants to learn more can also register there for a chance to win a football autographed by NFL Legend Jerry Rice, and let us know that they would like a follow up call.
IT: Thanks again.