By Kelvin Lim, Team Lead, Enterprise and Cloud Solutions, NetApp APAC

 

Flash storage has brought a whole range of new possibilities to enterprise computing.

 

Historically, flash was just about performance. The average solid state drive (SSD) used in flash storage has a 20 times IOPS1 performance improvement over a magnetic drive. For example, anyone who had replaced the magnetic drive in their laptop with a SSD would witness a visible improvement in the performance of their laptop.

 

Everyone understands that flash equals speed. In fact, we now see companies growing increasingly aware of other benefits of flash storage, including:

 

  • Greater cost savings due to reduction of the number of application licenses in production

    • Many enterprise applications charge their licenses based on the number of CPU cores deployed. These licenses are often more expensive than the underlying hardware.
    • Deploying flash storage will improve the efficiency of the CPU, resulting in fewer CPU cores being used. This translates to significant savings in application licenses.
  • Improve productivity and responsiveness of the business
    • The high IOPS performance of flash storage can lead to quicker response times for IT services supporting the business.
    • Utilizing near real-time data from the data warehouse2 and increasing the amount of data available to the user also enable enterprises to be more informed in their decision-making and more agile in responding to their dynamic business environments.
  • Support for DevOps
    • DevOps has become increasingly popular with enterprises through the promise of faster delivery of application features, higher quality applications and lower cost of maintaining the applications.
    • Flash complements DevOps though its ability to quickly scrub and share the latest logical copy of data and code with all application developers. Flash adds to the benefits from DevOps by further improving the efficiency of the developers and results in higher quality applications.

A common misconception among enterprise is that flash storage is expensive and only suitable for workloads that are latency sensitive or require extremely high IOPS.

 

However, advancement in memory chip technology used in flash storage coupled with storage efficiency features from enterprise storage arrays have made flash storage solutions much more affordable. In addition, it is also possible to attain a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for applications residing on flash storage compared with magnetic drives.

 

NetApp provides a number of industry proven flash solutions such as the SolidFire, All Flash FAS (AFF) and EF-series arrays to meet the diverse needs of our customers. Moving forward, the usage of SAS drives is expected to decrease, with SSDs and SATA drives increasing in popularity as they progressively meet increasingly demanding requirements for enterprises. As pricing comes down, flash will grow to become the de facto standard in storage technology for production workloads – it will be the new future.

 

Notes:

  1. IOPS, or “Input/Output Operations Per Second”, is a common performance measurement for computer storage devices
  2. Data warehouses are central repositories of integrated data from one or more disparate sources