Are you interested in accelerating business-critical applications, consolidating a virtual server or desktop deployment, trying to get ahead of your company’s data onslaught, or some combination of the above? Flash storage is taking the storage world by storm. By 2019, 20% of traditional high-end storage arrays will be replaced by dedicated solid-state arrays (SSAs).
Here are some key considerations for flash buyers:
Can I afford flash? Flash is a no-brainer answer to the performance requirements, however, until recently flash vendors could not compete with spinning disk prices. You can now get all-flash storage for as low as $1.20 per GB useable. Less than half a rack of flash array can replace four racks of traditional high-end storage.
Is performance the same for every flash array? When it comes to performance, flash arrays vary widely, not just in terms of performance, but in terms of consistency and predictability of performance. Workloads require not only high performance but also depend heavily on predictable, low latency response times.
Why keep talking about resiliency and scale? It’s important to know that enterprise-class resiliency and ability to scale are not always a given. Look for an array that offers hardware and software redundancy, advanced high availability features like non-disruptive hardware and software updates, data integrity with T10 DIF, and transparent failover solutions. Consider platforms that scale into the 100s of terabytes or more.
What about backup/recovery? On those rare occasions when system failures occur, you need to be ready and able to provide uninterrupted service. So data must be efficiently backed up and immediately recoverable. Look for storage arrays that integrate with the tools you already use, enabling hypervisor and application owners to control backup and recovery processes directly from their preferred system management consoles. You can reduce your exposure to risk if your flash storage solution can deliver on the same stringent recovery SLAs as your current disk-based environment.
What you now know
You know that flash is affordable and finally competitive with spinning disk at $1.20 per GB or lower pricing. You know that not all flash arrays are equal. You know that flash can save up to 80% space or more compared to HDD-based solutions. You know that a true enterprise-class solution can give you 99% availability even under failure conditions. You know to look out for an enterprise-class solution for scale and resiliency, and that data mobility might be important.
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