Flash Memory Summit 2016 Recap

By Raj Patel, Sr. Director, Corporate and Field Marketing

Last week we attended the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California. Since last year, the show has grown significantly in terms of size and attendees, which is a strong indicator of the growing trend of flash in the data center. While some are already hailing the arrival of the all-flash data center, the reality is that we won’t see its arrival for quite some time (if ever), regardless of how much the cost of flash is decreasing. The industry’s migration to all-flash arrays is clearly accelerating, but with innovation and evolution happening as fast as ever, it’s become even tougher to choose the right flash vendor—especially when mission critical workloads require proven performance gains. End users are still looking for the best insights into how their workloads will perform based on their specific environments.

Virtual Instruments enjoys solid relationships with our storage vendor customers and partner communities. Companies like Hitachi, HPE, Huawei and NetApp always show up strong at this event, and it’s great to know we help them do so by supporting them with our workload performance testing and validation solution, Load DynamiX Enterprise. More interesting were the topics that filtered through from the keynotes and onto the show floor, ranging from new announcements from vendors to conversations about “persistent memory” as a coming fundamental shift for the industry.

Our focus at the show was supporting our customers and partners in the storage industry as we continue to help them with their data center transformations. Companies always want to know the best way to evaluate and determine when and how to incorporate flash solid state drives (SSD) into their environments. We work closely with our customers to help them through this entire process, from determining what workloads require the highest availability and performance to providing insight and analysis as companies plan to shift workloads across heterogeneous data centers and into the cloud. Moving to flash is generating more and more interest in performance modeling, as our customers rely on us to help them determine which workloads work better with flash.

During the event, we also participated in a highly informative chalk talk with Storage Switzerland founder George Crump, where we talk more about SSD performance modeling and evaluation. In addition, our principal systems engineer Peter Murray led a presentation about the value of performance testing flash storage arrays prior to going into production. We received a lot of insight and commentary from the audience and session attendees.

Workload Central continues to gain steam as we discussed with engineers and storage administrators the need for greater workload education and transparency across the industry. Designed specifically for storage professionals, our goal with Workload Central is to bring real-world workload analysis, profiling and insights to our peers in the industry. With more participation, we can accelerate the collaborative knowledge and peer-vetted best practices for the community.

Which trends interested you at Flash Memory Summit? Tweet at us and let’s talk.