QLogic said a recent study from Taneja Group on storage acceleration technology showed that server-based storage acceleration products are "most valued" by customers and the "most preferred" storage protocol is Fibre Channel.
QLogic, which released the FabricCache 10000 Series caching storage area network adapter earlier this year, was one of nine technology companies that sponsored the study, according to Jeff Byrne, a senior analyst and consultant at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group. The survey population likely included QLogic customers, although respondents were not asked what specific vendors or solutions they were using, according to Byrne.
According to QLogic, Taneja's Storage Acceleration and Performance Technologies study showed support for server-based storage acceleration solutions and Fibre Channel as the preferred storage protocol for application acceleration. QLogic also said the study found that virtualized data centers have the "greatest need" for application acceleration.
Byrne said 279 survey participants were asked which storage acceleration deployment approaches they most valued, limited to three types. He said server-based approaches using flash as storage or flash as cache were the top choices of 56% of respondents. He said hybrid storage approaches came in second, at 53%.
The survey also asked about which protocols respondents preferred for attaching primary storage to physical or virtual server environments for performance-sensitive applications. Byrne said Fibre Channel was the leading response and was cited by 62% of survey respondents, although a smaller number of respondents have actually deployed a Fibre Channel acceleration product.
"As you would expect, the heaviest concentration of Fibre Channel usage was reported among users in medium and large enterprises," Byrne said. "Just under 40% of respondents said they value Fibre Channel-specific acceleration solutions, which indicates a significant need for Fibre Channel acceleration among the survey population. But only 16% said they have deployed a Fibre Channel acceleration solution to date."
He said iSCSI and direct-attached storage tied at 29%.
"Nearly 75% of respondents are thinking about deploying one or more storage acceleration solutions in the next 12-18 months," Byrne said. "And the percentage of practitioners actively planning for and/or evaluating acceleration solutions -- across all deployment types -- is much higher than the percentage that have deployed each type of acceleration approach to date."
Byrne said about one-third of Taneja's survey respondents are from large enterprises and about 40% are from small- to medium-sized enterprises.
He said more than 85% of respondents play an active role as buyers and/or users of storage acceleration and performance technologies in their companies, with the remaining 15% in advisory, sales or other management roles.
QLogic quoted the Taneja study as reporting 54% of respondents citing server virtualization as the application with the greatest need for acceleration. Cloud applications came in at 34%, desktop virtualization and data warehousing tied at 31%, and financial applications rounded out the group at 30%.