Flash storage technology is moving in the general direction of lower cost, higher speed and greater capacity, but IT service providers said customers typically make infrastructure decisions in a broader context in which flash, despite its advances, doesn't play the leading role.
IT service providers buy storage for their own data centers and they provide advice to customers assembling their storage infrastructure. Those discussions -- at least, initially -- don't revolve around enterprise flash -- or other specific technologies, for that matter.
Scott Webb, global practice manager of storage at World Wide Technology (WWT), a technology product and service provider based in St. Louis, said the first step is gaining an understanding of a customer's use cases and business objectives.
"We will always start with a customer briefing to determine their current state and desired state," he said. "This involves discussing use cases as a focal point."
He said the WWT Advanced Technology Center, which performs product benchmarking, architectural design validation and other lab services, constantly looks at different customer use cases and works with clients to "determine what makes the most sense for their specific needs and environment."