IT Pros Vote 2015 Flash Storage Leaders in Annual Brand Surveys

SanDisk, NetApp Each Take Market Leader Title in Three Product Categories; EMC Wins Two;

Other Leaders:  Dell Storage, HP, Intel, Nutanix, Samsung, and LinkedIn

San Diego, CA – July 30, 2015 – IT Brand Pulse, a trusted source for research, data and analysis about data center infrastructure, today announced the results of its June 2015 IT brand leader surveys covering thirteen Flash Storage products. IT Pros from around the world responded to the independent, non-sponsored surveys, and were asked which vendors they perceive as the leader in the following categories: All Flash Converged Systems, All Flash Fibre Channel Array, All Flash NAS Arrays, All Flash Hyperconverged Systems, All Flash InfiniBand Arrays, All Flash iSCSI Arrays, All Flash PCIe Adapters, All Flash Unified SAN/NAS Arrays, Flash Caching Software, Hybrid HDD/SSD Arrays, Memory Channel Storage, SAS/SATA SSD Modules, and SSD Controller Chips.

IT professionals were also asked who they thought contributed most to innovation over the past five years in both 3D NAND Flash and deployment of Flash Storage.  

“In this year’s flash surveys, SanDisk and Samsung asserted their leadership at the component level, while traditional enterprise storage leaders have the mindshare of IT pros for system level products,” said Frank Berry, CEO and Sr. Analyst, IT Brand Pulse. “And, as enterprise data centers follow the lead of hyperscales in adopting hyperconverged storage architectures, Nutanix is establishing early incumbency as the brand leader.”

Survey Highlights

  • SanDisk emerged as the biggest winner in this round of surveys with a combined 18 leader titles in Memory Channel Storage, All Flash PCIe Adapters, and Flash Caching Software. SanDisk repeated last year’s across-the-board success in Memory Channel Storage with Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation Micron followed far behind (but ahead of Viking Technology), as results showed the largest Market Leader win margin of any category in the survey.  With its acquisition of Fusion-io (and others), SanDisk was able to affirm Market Leader victories both in All Flash PCIe Adapters (four straight years) and Flash Caching Software (two years) and all remaining awards in each of the categories:  Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation. Intel and EMC / XtremIO rounded out the top three Market finishers in All Flash PCIe Adapters, while NetApp and EMC / XtremIO did the same in Flash Caching Software.
    “We are honored to be recognized as an industry leader by IT professionals around the world for our innovative, broad portfolio of flash products and solutions,” said John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions, SanDisk. “At SanDisk we continually strive to design and deliver products and solutions that leverage our vertical integration to deliver the best flash-based, cost effective products and solutions, so that our customers can realize the benefits of the flash-transformed data center.”  
  • Samsung duplicated its 2014 Market Leader accomplishment for SAS/SATA SSD Modules, however this time around, added Reliability to its Performance and Innovation Price and Service & Support leader was Seagate, who came in second (Market), and SanDisk picked up third place.
    “We are thrilled to receive any major industry award that acknowledges the technical and market value of our products and technology, but some of the most rewarding are those that are voted upon by our users themselves because these underscore the user community’s genuine view of our products,” said Jim Elliott, Corporate Vice President, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “In propelling the industry, we are especially delighted to be recognized as the top company for 3D NAND Innovation, and to be selected as the Market Leader in Innovation, Performance and Reliability for our SATA SSDs, after years of R&D effort to pioneer both the SSD market and 3D NAND technology.”

June 2015 Flash Storage Winners Chart

  • NetApp was one of two vendors who dominated Flash Storage voting to win three product categories: All Flash NAS Arrays, All Flash Unified SAN/NAS Arrays, and All Flash InfiniBand Arrays. For the second year in a row, NetApp emerged as the All Flash NAS Array Market Leader (in front of EMC, the number two pick, and Dell Storage and HP 3PAR who tied for the third spot). NetApp captured the five remaining titles of Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and   In All Flash Unified SAN/NAS Arrays, NetApp claimed Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, and Innovation leadership; giving up Service & Support to EMC (the second place Market Leader, ahead of Dell Storage).  For All Flash InfiniBand Arrays, IT end-users split the voting down the middle, naming NetApp as Market, Performance, and Innovation Leader, and IBM as the Price, Reliability, and Service & Support favorite. IBM and Cisco/WHIPTAIL were second and third Market Leaders, respectively.
    “NetApp is honored to be chosen as the market, innovation and performance leader for Unified All-Flash products in the IT Brand Pulse survey,” said Lee Caswell, VP, Product & Solutions Marketing, NetApp. “Unified flash architectures allow customers to efficiently manage enterprise-grade performance and capacity across flash, disk and cloud resources for both high performance block-based workloads and high-capacity files using a single management view.”
  • Dell Storage generated a back-to-back sweep of All Flash iSCSI Arrays, by securing Market, Price,Performance, Reliability, Service & Support and Innovation Leader titles for 2014 and 2015. SolidFire was once again the runner-up Market Leader with WD/Skyera in third.
    “Dell Storage has been recognized yet again by customers as the overall market leader for All-Flash iSCSI arrays, a testament to our ability to offer organizations world class storage solutions that continue to lead the way for innovation, price, performance, reliability and support,” said Travis Vigil, executive director, Dell Storage. “Dell Storage continues to focus on redefining the economics of enterprise storage and is unmatched on price for performance, noted by IT leaders as the overall price leader for both Fibre Channel and iSCSI all-flash arrays.”
  • HP became the first winner of the newly added All Flash Converged Systems category, taking the Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation leader awards with its ConvergedSystem NetApp’s FlexPod was next in line for Market Leader, followed by Cisco/IBM’s VersaStack.
    “HP is honored to be recognized as an industry leader by IT professionals around the world for our innovative and broad portfolio of converged infrastructure that we provide into the data center,” said Ric Lewis, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Data Center Infrastructure, Hewlett Packard. “Core to HP’s heritage in delivering ‘what’s next’ innovation, we continue to be committed to an aggressive innovation agenda, creating a new class of infrastructure called Composable Infrastructure. This new class of infrastructure enables continuous service delivery that provides a competitive advantage to our customers.”
  • Nutanix continued to be at the forefront of IT pro perceptions, previously being voted as 2015 Hyperconverged System Market Leader in the IT Brand Pulse January surveys. In another new product category from the annual Flash surveys—All Flash Hyperconverged Systems—respondents stayed with that thinking and tapped Nutanix as the Market, Performance, and Innovation leader, while selecting HP for Price, Reliability, and Service & Support HP and Scale Computing finished two and three for the Market spot, in that order.
  • EMC maintained its Market Leader position in Hybrid HDD/SSD Arrays (for the third time in four years of surveys) and recouped the All Flash Fibre Channel Array Market Leader award from 2013. For Hybrid HDD/SSD, IT professionals also chose EMC as Performance, Reliability, and Service & Support Leader, but handed Innovation Leader to start-up, Nimble Storage. Price Leader went to HP 3PAR, the second place Market finisher ahead of Respondents scattered their votes in All Flash Fibre Channel Array:  EMC as the Market and Service & Support Leader; IBM for both Innovation and Reliability; Performance Leader to HP 3PAR, and Dell Storage for Price. The Market Leader results mirrored the Hybrid HDD/SSD category with HP 3PAR and NetApp coming in behind EMC.
  • Intel broke through a three-year stronghold on SSD Controller Chips (by LSI/SandForce, now Seagate/SandForce) to earn Market, Price, Performance, Reliability, Service & Support, and Innovation Leader. SanDisk/Pliant was second all-around, ahead of Seagate/SandForce.
  • IT professionals also answered two bonus questions added to the June 2015 survey. The first, “Who contributed most to Innovation in 3D NAND Flash over the last five years (2010 – 2015)”, showed Samsung as the choice for this special Innovation Leader achievement with Intel as runner-up and SanDisk, third. For the second question, “Who contributed most to Innovation in Deployment of Flash Storage over the last five years (2010 – 2015)?”, the winning votes came in for LinkedIn, followed by Dropbox and Salesforce.

IT Brand Leader Surveys
IT Brand Pulse awards are the symbols for brand leadership. Winners are voted by IT pros in surveys that are independent, non-sponsored research.  The surveys are designed to measure the pulse of brand leadership in specific product categories. Within each product category, respondents choose the overall market leader, as well as the leader in price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. Respondents are provided with a category description at the start of each product section, a randomized choice of vendor answers, and the ability to write-in a vendor, if not listed.

Respondents to our surveys have included (select list): AT&T – Server Administrator/Architect; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) – Storage Administrator/Architect; Boeing – Data Center Manager; Booz Allen Hamilton – Network Security Architect; CalPERS, State of CA – Network Administrator/Architect; Caterpillar – Server Administrator/Architect; Citigroup – Network Administrator/Architect; City of Los Angeles – IT Manager/Director; Delta Airlines – Server Administrator/Architect; Duke University – IT Manager/Director; EarthLink – Server Administrator/Architect; Environmental Protection Agency – Network Administrator/Architect; ExxonMobil – Network Administrator/Architect; Fermilab – Network Administrator/Architect; Ford Motor Company – Network Administrator/Architect; GE – IT Manager/Director; General Dynamics – Network Administrator/Architect; General Motors – Server Administrator/Architect; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab – IT Manager/Director; JP Morgan – IT Manager/Director; Lockheed Martin – IT Manager/Director; Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) – Network Administrator/Architect; Lowe’s – Storage Administrator/Architect; Mattel Inc.- IT Manager/Director; Morgan Stanley – Network Administrator/Architect; NASA – IT Manager/Director; National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) – Network Administrator/Architect; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – IT Manager/Director; Northrop Grumman – Network Administrator/Architect; Oppenheimer – Executive/Management; PepsiCo – Storage Administrator/Architect; Porsche Cars North America – Network Administrator/Architect; REI – Server Administrator/Architect; Sandia National Labs – Network Administrator/Architect; Shell – Storage Administrator/Architect; Social Security Administration (SSA) – Server Administrator/Architect; Stanford University – Network Administrator/Architect; Staples – Network Administrator/Architect; Target – IT Manager/Director; The University of Chicago – Server Administrator/Architect; Thomson Reuters -Server Administrator/Architect; T-Mobile – Data Center Manager; Transamerica – Storage Administrator/Architect; UBS – Executive/Management; UCLA – IT Manager/Director; United Airlines – Network Administrator/Architect; Universal Parks and Resort – IT Manager/Director; University Of Michigan- Data Center Manager; University of Michigan Medical School – IT Manager/Director; University of Notre Dame – Storage Administrator/Architect; USC – Network Administrator/Architect; Verizon – Network Administrator/Architect; Yale University – IT Manager/Director…among many others.

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Cheryl Parker, IT Brand Pulse

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