Flash Storage Adoption On the Rise
Flash Drives Business Value
There are always technology zealots in Enterprise I.T. who will readily debate the virtues of any technical solution (new or old). However, nobody can debate or argue the fact that Flash Storage is faster than traditional Spinning Disk Storage.
It is easy to find those who will debate how much faster Flash Storage is, but those arguments are over the actual order of magnitude – as the low end would be hundreds of times faster and the high end would be a thousand times faster. Even those debates are based on the fundamental proven fact that Flash Storage is hundreds of times faster than Spinning Disk Storage.
Speed is typically a good thing in your data center infrastructure, but speed applied in correct situations where it can add business value is always a good thing in your data center infrastructure. There are clearly some things in life where slow may be better than fast. If you were in a boat in the ocean and noticed the boat was taking on water, in this case, slow would be better than fast. I have been responsible for many data centers in my career and have been in many more that I was not responsible for. From this experience, I can tell you that I have only seen one or two slow leaking boats in a data center but I have seen a few specific use cases where Enterprise Flash Storage creates significant business value.
At a high level, eliminating latency and reducing power consumption are tremendous benefits to deploying Flash Arrays. Here are a few areas where we have seen businesses benefit from deployment of Flash Arrays:
- Data Insight and Analytics – the foundation of flash storage speeds the execution of the Data Analytics technology stack (the ETL, the cube building, and the user access/database speeds) to a degree that businesses are able to gain access to Insights much quicker than on prior infrastructure technologies. In some cases, with the speed of access, businesses have actually eliminated the copying of data to “Analytics Databases” and used the speed of Flash Storage as an enabler for the users to access live data for their Analytics and Insights. At a minimum, the ability to copy or backup data hundreds of times faster dramatically reduces the ‘backup window times’ which also results in fresher data being used in the Analytics and Insight.
- Companies that rely on their eCommerce capabilities have found that there is a very real cost to latency in the end user experience. Flash Storage in the Data Center provides the ability to significantly reduce latency (in fact virtually eliminates latency on the storage side). It improves the customer experience and, in turn, reduces the real cost that latency puts on the overall eCommerce financial picture.
- Flash Storage in the Data Center has shown to improve the response times and user experience of VDI. When implemented thoughtfully, VDI can lower real costs for an enterprise and create a much simpler and secure I.T. Infrastructure. With Flash Storage accelerating the performance of VDI in an enterprise, it is becoming the key enabler for businesses to realize the cost reductions of VDI in both actual demonstrated lower operational costs and in the simplification and security of the I.T. Infrastructure.
The cost of Flash Storage, when compared to traditional Spinning Disk Storage, becomes an important component in identifying the use-cases for deployment so that you are always driving business value in a manageable Cost of Ownership model. As mentioned above, eliminating latency and reducing power consumption are compelling value propositions. Flash Storage Arrays will continue to see wider adoption as we continue to see those many use cases where business value is created.