Technology research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc., recently came out with its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Solid State Arrays (SSA), aimed at helping IT leaders better understand SSA vendors’ positioning in the industry.

What are Solid State Arrays?

SSAs are all-flash storage systems that provide faster performance levels than disk-based storage arrays, due to lower-cost flash memory and in-line data reduction.

How Does Gartner Evaluate Solid State Arrays?

Gartner evaluates SSA vendors based on their:

  • Ability to expand their products across a wide range of use cases and applications, improve their service and support capabilities and focus on improving mission-critical applications. Criteria that are evaluated include the product or service; overall viability; sales execution/pricing; market responsiveness/record; marketing execution; customer experience; and operations.
  • Completeness of vision, or their view of the future, the direction of the market and the vendor’s role in shaping the market. Criteria for rating for completeness of vision include market understanding; marketing strategy; sales strategy; offering (product) strategy; business model; vertical/industry strategy; innovation; and geographic strategy.

To meet Gartner’s inclusion criteria for the Magic Quadrant, SSA vendors must have a dedicated model and name, are generally available by Dec. 31, 2014, and the product cannot be configured with hard-disk drives at any time. The systems typically, but not always, include an OS and data management software optimized for solid-state technology, Gartner says.

SolidFire: a Leader in SSAs

Among the vendors listed on the Magic Quadrant for 2015 is SolidFire, a leader in all-flash storage systems. According to Gartner, SolidFire offers a platform compatibility guarantee which ensures that all future software and hardware releases will interoperate with existing infrastructure. “Customers are allowed to perform their own software and hardware upgrades, which shows a robust and resilient design,” Gartner says. “SolidFire also offers a competitive unlimited drive wear guarantee and simple, all-inclusive pricing.”

SolidFire was also recognized as a Visionary in the Magic Quadrant, which refers to vendors that deliver innovative products that address operationally or financially important end-user problems at a broad scale, but has not demonstrated the ability to capture market share or sustainable profitability.

Other SSA vendors that were included on the 2015 Magic Quadrant are EMC, Pure Storage, IBM, HP, NetApp and Fujitsu, among others. EMC was recognized for its highly responsive sales and marketing organizations, which publicly and very successfully articulate roadmaps, problems, fixes and issues for its XtremIO product.

Pure Storage, Gartner says, has executed well on its vision of software-led solid-state arrays that leverage off-the-shelf cost-effective hardware components providing cost-effective SSAs.

It’s important to note that a vendor’s position on the Magic Quadrant should not be equated with the product’s attractiveness or suitability for every client’s requirements. “If the solutions better fit your needs, have the appropriate support capabilities and are attractively priced, then it is perfectly acceptable to acquire solutions from vendors that are not in the Leaders quadrant,” Gartner says.


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