A recent IBM survey shows solid state storage is on the rise, and fast -- more than half of all companies surveyed said the new storage technology is increasingly important as they build out their business and data center. That's great news for virtualization and storage VARs. Read on for the results ...

IBM's survey is comprised of responses from 250 U.S. "IT professions in decision-making positions," which realistically represents a small chunk of the IT world, but is not statistically insignificant. IBM's findings show 43 percent of these IT professionals are planning on using SSDs or have already implemented some form of solid state solution, and of that 43 percent, 75 percent of them said speed was the great motivator. However, the biggest barrier to entry on SSDs is the price tag: 71 percent of all those not using SSDs (47 percent of the 250 IT professionals) said cost was primary reason they couldn't implement an SSD solution.

The good news is the survey also found 47 percent of respondents will be increasing storage investments, especially in the form of virtualization and cloud solutions. That may mean despite the cost, there's still a need for investment, and SSDs can be used inside those deployments. While only 26 percent of respondents said their storage investments would focus exclusively on SSD storage, there's still a ton of potential tangentially. For instance, the survey results showed 29 percent of companies are looking at data solutions for governmental compliance.

Unsurprisingly, IBM offers its own SSD solutions, (including Easy Tier technology, which ensures more sequential writes on SSDs) but SSD-type solutions are hitting the market in new and innovative styles. Most recently, storage company XIO launched Hyper-ISE, a unique SSD caching solution; Intel has introduced a fleet of super-fast enterprise-grade SSDs; and Drobo has built-in support for using SSDs to speed file and application reads.

The bottom line for the channel is SSDs are moving up in the world of storage, and if they're not part of your portfolio, they definitely should be. While there hasn't been much in the way of dealing with the cost-prohibitive effects of SSDs, this is definitely a temporary problem, and as every year rolls on, the density per-price of storage is dropping. Stay tuned.