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Advancing The Case (Again) For Solid State Disk

Enterprise adoption of solid state disk (SSD) has at best been steady as companies wait for more compelling results in areas like price points and write endurance, but this hasn't stopped storage providers from revisiting traditional enterprise objections and continually reinventing SSD to where it is becoming a viable option. In fact, the re-presentment of SSD now goes beyond the hope for large enterprise adoption to feasible adoption by medium and small-sized businesses (SMBs) --and beyond early adopters that have revenue-producing applications that SSD can turbo-charge to companies that simply want SSD technology  to improve the performance of their storage, with or without direct tie-backs  to revenue generation.

The latest product news is BlueArc's July 7 announcement of its new Mercury tiered storage product line, which vigorously attacks corporate price point objections and presents SSD capability to companies that might not otherwise give SSD a look.
"The introduction of a lower cost Mercury product line allows more enterprises of various sizes to take advantage of tiered storage and the benefits it can bring to their operations," said Mike Gustafson, BlueArc CEO.  

Gustafson believes that Mercury--which is priced 55-60 percent under the BlueArc Titan 3100 tiered storage offering--will create broader appeal in the enterprise and SMB markets because of economics-- and because it presents the  "killer application" of SSD--tiered  storage that is geared to address the biggest storage encumbrance that enterprises and SMBs face today:  mammoth files of unstructured data. "We have more work to do, but we already have 130 ecosystem partners lined up as Mercury resellers," said Gustafson.

Other  SSD storage providers are likely to follow BlueArc's lead in cost reduction because while large enterprises might use complicated total cost of ownership (TCO) formulas that factor in the raw costs  of storage with other elements such as performance, utilization, energy consumption and manpower--the reality is  that a majority of  medium and small sized businesses that comprise a significant market are still stuck back on the raw cost  per gigabyte of disk as it comes through the door--which is why SSD has found it hard to compete with hard disk .

A second concern of SMBs (and also of large enterprises) is the ability to interchange storage media across hardware platforms with minimal disruption to staff or operations. IBM  ( is setting the trend in this area with recent announcements that it is now offering SSD options for all of its computing platforms, with software automation that dynamically migrates, monitors and manages data— and others are  likely to follow suit.

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