There are a great many solid state storage products on the market today. Many vendors have taken flash and added their own secret sauce or their own take on the best architectural design.

So which is best? There is no easy answer and perhaps no single answer as product value is often dependent on the specific environment as well as the application mix. But here are a few of the better ones:


DDN introduced the IME14K all flash array for high performance computing (HPC) applications. Much of the work DDN has done is to locate and eliminate the file system bottleneck to provide HPC users with more benefits from solid state storage.

“Unlike traditional enterprise applications, swapping spinning disk drives with flash in HPC doesn’t inherently increase performance,” said Jeff Sisilli, senior director of product marketing, DDN Storage.

Tintri VMstore

The Tintri VMstore is designed for virtualized applications and private clouds. The VMstore T5000 all-flash series is an all-flash array for demanding virtualized applications, such as multi-terabyte database farms or 1000+ seats of persistent VDI desktops. Pricing starts at $125,000.

The Tintri T800 hybrid-flash series is designed to deliver 99 percent of IO from flash but is designed for a mix of enterprise workloads, including server virtualization, VDI and private cloud. Pricing starts at $75,000. They come with VM-level actionable analytics, clones, snapshots, replication and support for all hypervisors.

Violin Memory FSP 7000 Series

Violin Memory’s FSP 7600 takes aim at the primary storage and extreme performance markets with a vertically integrated purpose-built platform which includes in-line granular data deduplication and compression, application-consistent snapshots and capacity pooling. Violin Symphony is a single pane-of-glass management GUI that administers data services, data reduction and configuration.

“The FSP 7000 series comes with industry-leading enterprise services such as asynchronous replication, synchronous mirroring, stretch clustering with zero RPO and zero RTO, snapshots, clones, and other services,” said Jane Clabby, an analyst at Clabby Analytics.

The FSP 7700 is a scale-up platform with up to 1.40 PB raw and greater than 2 PB effective in a single namespace at 2.2 million IOPS in under 1ms.


SolidFire provides an all-flash array with added QoS to provide better control of storage performance. It also includes data reduction and automation features to reduce cost of ownership and tailor performance to various types of data and applications.

NexGen N5-1500

NexGen also offers an all-flash array. The N5-1500 uses PCIe flash for high performance and solid state drives (SSDs) as a second tier of flash. Configurations start with 15 TB of flash storage with an MSRP of $125,000. Included in the price is software such as storage QoS, data reduction, thin provisioning, snapshots, replication, performance and capacity scalability up to 100TB data sets, VMware integration and VMware VVOL support.

“Support costs are guaranteed to remain the same over the life of the initial support contract purchased no matter how much capacity or performance resources are added, all future expansions are covered by the initial support contract,” said Chris McCall, senior vice president of marketing at NexGen Storage.

NetApp AFF

NetApp’s All Flash FAS (AFF) Series is suited to shared virtualized environments. It is said to deliver seamless data management across flash, disk and cloud resources. For channel partners invested in the NetApp Data Fabric, it provides a way to help their customers prepare for a hybrid cloud. The company has introduced pricing promotions that allow new systems to be acquired at prices starting at $25,000 plus extended support offers. It has also issued a guarantee for 3X enterprise database performance compared to disk-based systems.

“The NetApp AFF is one of the fastest growing product lines in NetApp’s history,” said Lee Caswell, vice president of product, solutions and service management, NetApp.

Pure Storage

The Pure Storage FlashArray//m is mini in size and capable of consolidating racks of spinning disk into 3U, according to the company. It is modular and customizable, and it can scale from 15 TB up to nearly ½ PB using data reduction. It delivers up to 300,000 IOPS at less than one millisecond average latency and up to nine GB/s bandwidth. Costs are said to be as low as $1.50 per GB with all software included.

“Our most dense configuration achieves 400 TB usable in 7 rack units,” said Chadd Kenney, CTO of Americas for Pure Storage.

Infinidat InfiBox

Infinidat produces a hybrid storage array called InfiniBox. It uses a solid state storage to deliver over 1 million IOPS of performance. While other systems may be able to match or even exceed that at times, Infinidat’s big plus is that it does it for about $1 per GB, about the cost of a common disk array. At the same time, the company offers 99.99999 percent availability.

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