Ten Leading Vendors in Flash Storage
Flash storage has come a long way in the last few years -- a truly long way. And today’s flash storage vendors hope to capitalize on that trend.
Just ten years ago, if you wanted fast access storage, your only real option was 15,000 RPM drives, which had very low capacity -- usually 72GB to 144GB -- and they ran very hot and failed much more often than a 7,200 RPM drive. It was basic physics. The faster you spin something, the more likely it will be to break.
Fast-forward a decade, and solid state storage has matured to the point that enterprise vendors and customers alike are willing to bet the business on memory-based storage. What started out as a hard drive alternative for laptops is now powering high-performance enterprise storage systems, often acting as a fast cache to larger storage arrays.
There are numerous players in this field, but below is a mix of IT veterans with promising startups. Some of those start-ups may end up being acquired by the big players, because that's how many big players got into the storage array business.
One key differentiator is that some vendors offer multi-level cell (MLC) flash while others offer single-level cell (SCL) flash. SLC is faster and more durable but it also has lower capacity. MLC has improved its speed, reliability and wear levels to the point where MLC is now acceptable for enterprise applications. SLC is still used for the fastest I/O requirements.