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"We'll recommend it for certain applications," he said. "We'll sit down with the customer, look at its business applications, and point out where the apps might benefit from low latency. And our engineers sit down with a stakeholder at the customer site and do a little digging, maybe use a professional services engagement, to do a deep dive and see where the benefits are."
One thing Consiliant does not do is work with the crop of newer vendors coming to market with SSDs.
"I've found that the data going on SSDs is the most business-critical data," Kadlec said. "Reliability is paramount. I don't want to jeopardize customer data to save a few thousand dollars. Hitachi puts its SSDs through their paces."
Tim Neary, owner and president of Strategic Storage Solutions, an Allen, Texas-based solution provider, has relationships with Texas Memory Systems, one of the pioneers in the SSD market, as well as with Compellent, which in 2010 added SSDs as an option to its Storage Center SAN arrays.
Prices are getting more "palatable" for customers, Neary said. "However, SSD sales takes a lot of expertise. What vendors are doing today, making SSDs a small part of the array and using as a cache, makes sense."
Nearly said that he has yet to sell any SSDs for arrays from Compellent, which in late 2010 is in the process of being acquired by Dell.
"They are still too expensive," he said. "But as customers get mature with Compellent technology, they will see the opportunities. As long as Dell doesn't screw Compellent up."
Mainstream customer use of SSDs is still hit and miss, said Keith Norbie, vice president of sales at Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based solution provider which has sold a few SSDs from EMC.
Norbie said he is also closely watching newer vendors such as Fusion-IO, which offers Flash modules for servers which are lower in cost than SSDs but perform much faster for local applications; startup Whiptail Technologies, a Summit, N.J.-based developer of arrays featuring only SSDs; and companies producing hybrid hard drive and SSD combination devices.