HDSer Offers Thoughts...
Biased HDSer here...
Lot's of interesting (and some less interesting) points here.
Thin provisioning? Sure, it's not reduction, per se, but other vendors are similarly including it in conversations, so I'm not sure we broke any real awkward ground there. Compared to old non-over-provisioned capacity, it's still a big win for many customers. However, if your concern is that your mileage will vary with this (agreed), we should talk about deduplication in the same dubious light. You know about averages, right? Either way, at 60 SSDs x 1.6TB each in 2U, we are comfortable with our capacity / rack unit, either effective or raw.
Response time? Yes, we fully agree that response is as (probably way more, in most cases) critical to apps and customers than IOPS. This was a product announcement, not a technical whitepaper though, and anyone who puts real value on other vendors "minimum response time" numbers on the web should please email so I can describe some swamp land I have for sale. Call your local HDS rep/partner for more details, and of course, PoC things! (Oh, and for that IOPS number it was 4K block size.)
On Hu's prediction, well I am not going to speak for Hu, but when you are selling customers flash by the petabyte and prices drop dramatically, you realize that things have changed. It is what it is. That said, most of us on this forum know that if only "need" was taken into consideration, Hu is right --> most environments could/should be tiered, especially if you have real time tiering like our HDT active flash mode. However, the benefit to all-flash is real and now much more achievable. I think even Gartner will concede (as Hu mentioned in his post) that eventually SSA/AFA and "general purpose storage" all serve the same need and will all be viewed in the same context. Maybe after a few more SSA stragglers die off or are bought for pennies on the dollar there will be fewer dots and Magic Quadrants can be merged. :-p
RE: our FMDs, they are still going strong to the tune of 50PB+ last quarter and they still wipe the floor with your average SSDs. At 6.4TB each and built-in compression, the new FMD-DC2 removes challenges of overworked SSDs and takes compression off the controller. VSP F models gets you all flash versions with all HW/SW needed in a single SKU, if VSP is the solution for you. (Price one, you'll be happily surprised.)
But if you want block dedupe today and a 2U solution (among other things), HFS is way to go.
As we've all seen in the real world, there is more than one way to answer a problem and more than one type of problem to be solved. Much like houses aren't built built with only a hammer, nor are most IT infrastructure realistically supported with only one type of storage. This is largely the same reason grown up vendors used to have non-compatible midrange/high-end solutions. (oh wait, most still do...)
Thanks for tolerating me!