Flash Storage is Changing Big Data Analytics
The Flash Storage Revolution
In today’s digital economy and our ever-so-connected world, companies of all sizes and of all industry verticals must figure out how to leverage the vast quantities of raw data generated and deep analytics in order to stay competitive, transform, innovate and develop new products and capabilities that will better serve their empowered customers. ‘Big Data’ is not just a fad or a business buzzword anymore; it is a key strategic imperative. Every decision that a company makes, whether it’s dealing with mundane business processes or figuring out the way best to fulfill external/internal service-level agreements, will be data-driven. Newer key technologies, such as Apache Hadoop, have accelerated the Big Data trends and uncovered use cases far beyond Silicon Valley.
For companies to fully realize the promise and potential of Big Data and analytics, they need to have an IT infrastructure, namely compute, storage and network components, that can handle the demands and challenges that large, continuous and complex data sets bring. Here at CMI, we’re seeing that Flash storage (used in solid-state drives) has become a game-changer in the Big Data analytics space. Flash is moving rapidly into enterprise IT data centers all over the world and along the way it is replacing traditional hard disks, which are significantly slower.
Flash storage offers the following compelling advantages:
- Exceptional IOPS performance.
- Delivering intensive I/O required to run data science within a firm’s operations.
- Very low latency / instant data availability.
- Power/energy efficiency.
- Compact/efficient footprint.
For large and complex data sets, traditional enterprise storage systems just don’t cut it anymore. Companies need real-time analytical capabilities in order to compete on time-to-insight, time-to-value and time-to-market. Flash storage plays a central role. Gone are the days when data scientists within an organization toil for weeks to discover a meaningful insight from raw data sets, translate it into operation and determine if there is a positive result at the business operations level.
Big Data analytics’ use cases via Flash storage have also proliferated in recent days. For example:
- Enabling rapid sharing of medical records among hospital staff to detect real-time patterns and focus treatment regimen.
- At a bottling facility for a large soft-drink brand, leveraging Big Data and Flash storage has enabled the company to improve demand forecasting. This was accomplished by narrowing the focus from warehouses down to individual customers to better predict how much of each product is needed on any given day at any particular retail store or vending machine.
Traditionally large storage players such as HP, NetApp and Pure have invested significant amount of resources to enhance their Flash storage offerings. In the case of IBM and its FlashSystem lineup, it has no spinning disks, offers ultra-high performance, with low latency and lower costs from energy savings. Some clients have reported a cut in power consumption by a whopping 96 percent, cooling requirements by 95 percent and physical storage space usage by 98 percent. IBM FlashSystem can also seamlessly integrate with software-defined storage in order to enable cloud architectures that power Big Data analytics.
We’re delighted to see increased competition in the Flash storage space. It is good for you, the customer, as well as for the industry as innovations and new use cases will continue to be introduced at a rapid pace. Not too long ago Flash was considered prohibitively expensive for many companies. Now, cost per gigabyte is coming down dramatically and making Flash more attractive for a wider range of applications.
Here at CMI, our dedicated team of Flash storage subject matter experts and solutions architects can help you ensure that your investment in Flash delivers the maximum performance in the most cost-effective way. Contact us today to continue the Flash storage conversation!
CMI’s Cloud Solutions Director Vanessa Nudd contributed to this blog