Typically, when I think of summer, I think of beaches, drinks with cocktail umbrellas, baseball and of course, fireworks. This summer, in particular, has proven to have not only a lot of US 4th of July and World Cup fireworks, but also substantial new product announcement fireworks from the storage industry.
I just got home from a long trip to Europe, tying up the 2nd quarter, exhibiting at the European EAGE Oil & Gas conference, and winding up the month at the International Super Computing Conference in Germany. One common theme I noticed that is being voiced across all of the data intensive markets DDN services is: USERS MUST BE ABLE TO DERIVE BUSINESS VALUE FROM THEIR DATA. Just creating and storing the data, no matter the cost point per TB or the performance metrics they achieve, is not the objective. Instead, it’s about accelerating time to results to derive insight from science experiments in a work day instead of a work week; delivering video footage faster than the competitive TV station; or accelerating stock analyses on the trading floor. These are all areas that real-world users rely on DDN innovation to differentiate themselves and outcompete their competition.
In Germany at the International Super Computing conference, users were extremely interested to see the live demonstration of DDN’s Infinite Memory Engine (IME). This live demonstration exhibited, in real-time, how users can accelerate their applications 1000x (and yes, that is not a marketing-derived number or a typo – I really mean 1000X in the real world!!!) by introducing DDN’s IME technology into their environment. These days, there is a lot of news in the industry about SSD and Flash-driven technologies. Some vendors are simply putting SSDs into an array that used to hold spinning disk. Others, like DDN, are investing heavily in the software intelligence to truly leverage the benefits of SSD. Users are becoming very savvy about how to measure performance benefits in their environments, and are not just buying faster hardware because it looks good on paper or on a spec sheet. Users are looking to vendors to show specifics on how the technology will be optimized, how it will accelerate their workflows, and how to intelligently tier between SSD, spinning disk and ultimately, to tape or the Cloud.
DDN announcements at the International Supercomputing Conference in June covered all of these areas: application optimization with SSD, intelligent tiering and integration with the Cloud. Whether it is Fast Data, Persistent Data, Distributed Data or long-term retention for Tape Archive and Cloud, it is clear that users are growing tired of trying to piece together solutions to leverage all the storage, proprietary software, open source and server options available. They are looking for trusted advisors to help architect solutions, support for Open Source integration and troubleshooting, and intelligent tiering to optimize storage economics.
New technology announcements are great and users are excited to see the storage industry innovating – and/or vendors playing catch-up to level the playing field. But we have also heard loud and clear out on the road this past month that the true value DDN offers our users today is the combination of great technology delivered by great technology specialists to integrate and optimize the end-to-end environment. DDN has made it our mission to help our users optimize the use of SSD, Open Source, multi-data center environments and the Cloud.
We continue to offer the leading storage density with over 5PB of storage in a single rack, the ability to deliver millions of IOPS and the most efficient solutions for streaming throughput. And, we wrap all this up and put a bow on it by integrating the solutions with the customers’ applications and workflow to ensure all the technology advantages are leveraged to their fullest.
See my colleague Paul and I demo the new Infinite Memory Engine.