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The Plateau of Productivity 'NVMe Done Right' - The Hitachi Vantara VSP 5000 Series

By Neil Salamack posted 10-10-2019 20:47


What is “HYPE”?
As a society, we’re over exposed to nonstop hype in messaging and advertising as we try to discern “spin” from what’s real.  In looking to quote a definition of hype, I reviewed many but felt that the Urban Dictionary had the best interpretation for “hype” as used in the IT industry.

“Hype” is a fad. A clever marketing strategy which a product is advertised as the thing that everyone must have, to the point where people feel the need to consume it.” – Urban Dictionary

Being a marketing professional, I am fascinated by messaging and the “Art of Creating the Want”.  When does your proposed offering reach a tipping point where your customer executes the buy? Consequently, with IT infrastructure solutions Gartner has published studies to help guide IT vendors and customers to figure out when to adopt a new technology.  I personally feel that discerning “hype” from “value” should play a key role in helping you decide when to invest in any new technology.

As an example of this, Gartner provides some excellent insight in their Hype Cycle Trend Reports (example shown below): 

The bottom axis is key to helping us understand how “emotion” strives to connect with business value by using these 5 attributes:
  1. Innovation Trigger
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectations
  3. Trough of Disillusionment
  4. Slope of Enlightenment
  5. Plateau of Productivity
So… at what point should you “buy in” to new technology? Especially when the pressure is on to look towards new technology to deliver data driven outcomes to help our customers disrupt and lead in their markets?

A Tale of Woe - NVMe Flash Early Adopters
NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a recent Flash technology that promises significant performance gains over traditional SAS Flash. When NVMe flash was initially introduced, vendors rushed to be first to market.  I have spoken to many of our customers who had purchased NVMe storage systems from other vendors.  Hitachi Vantara chose not to participate in the “hype” by rushing to market a product that didn’t deliver on the full promise of NVMe performance.  As time went on I heard story after story about some of these “first-to-market” NVMe flash systems.  The most common issue was as the customer scaled the system, NVMe performance slowed dramatically and failed to deliver the “hyped” benefits.  The issue turned out to be that these vendors effectively “bolted on” NVMe capability to aging SAS architecture to be first to market.  As the system was never originally architected to take advantage of NVMe’s massive parallelism, scaling the workloads created bottlenecks which resulted in latency and slower application performance.

So, where did NVMe flash arrays end up on the Hype Cycle curve? Consumers went through the innovation trigger and bought based on the promise of new technology. They then hit the peak of inflated expectations as they scaled those systems and saw a decrease in application performance. This was followed by a trough of disillusionment as consumers questioned the overall value and if NVMe was truly market ready.

NVMe Storage Reaches the “Slope of Enlightenment and Plateau of Productivity”
Fast Forward to the announcement of the Hitachi Vantara VSP 5000 Series.  The VSP 5000 series is the world’s fastest (21 M IOPS) and most scalable (69 Petabytes) NVMe storage array. Our claim is that the VSP 5000 is “better NVMe”, so why is this? We’ll let me address what’s obvious, Hitachi Vantara opted to “innovate” instead of “hype”. Innovating is nothing new to Hitachi Vantara with over 300 patents in flash storage technology, but this innovation was going to take time as we architected the VSP 5000 Series from the ground up to be optimized for NVMe’s massive parallelism and for technologies like SCM (Storage class memory).  But the innovation didn’t stop at the hardware design. Hitachi innovated it’s SVOS RF Flash operating system with AI and machine learning to increase the performance of data reduction and assist in delivering a class leading latency as low as 70 microseconds.  The result is an NVMe system whose performance scales linearly as nodes are added, regardless of the increases in workload.

A Great Day for NVMe and Hitachi Vantara Customers!
So, if the VSP 5000’s new “NVMe centric” architecture has propelled us to the “slope of enlightenment” let’s get to the best part, the “Plateau of Productivity” and business value. 
Some of the top benefits are included here:
  • The VSP 5000 Series is 1.4X faster than leading NVMe competitors and it won’t slow down as you scale
  • The VSP 5000 upgrades to technologies like SCM and NVMe-oF with non-disruptive software upgrades. No forklift required
  • Consolidate silos and deliver unprecedented workload diversity. You can take advantage of its speed and scale by running multiple “IOP intensive” workloads like AI, streaming analytics, cloud native apps and even mainframe workloads
  • Get a 40% reduction in total cost of ownership. The VSP 5000’s powerful External Storage Optimization features enables you to increase the performance of aging 3rd party arrays by virtualizing them under the VSP 5000 Series. The benefits include increased application performance, simplified management, and squeezing more ROI and productivity from existing storage investments
  • AI/ML driven by the new Hitachi Ops Center management suite to help you leverage automation and free your staff to focus on innovation
It’s time to get excited about what NVMe speed and agility can do for your business ... When NVMe is “Done Right” by your IT Partner! Please reach out to a Hitachi Vantara Representative to get the full picture on how the VSP 5000 series can transform your data-driven business.

Learn how the VSP 5000 Can Transform Your Business
VSP 5000 Series