used to be all about raw performance. It had been designed to address issues with traditional applications that were bound by latency and throughput. This was not mainstream, but rather applied to niche environments. It was an expensive solution but justified compared to the alternative cost of rewriting an application or deploying massive arrays of spinning disk. In many cases, low latency could not be consistently achieved with disk-based solutions.
As Flash technology matured and became more mainstream, we saw more deployments and therefore a need for more features traditionally available in disk based storage subsystems (those that provide data efficiency, resiliency, protection etc.).
All-Flash arrays (AFAs) are now expected to offer features and functionality that their HDD and hybrid counterparts also have and at a competitive cost.
What customers now expect from AFAs is integration with the hypervisor and application layer to deliver more value than before. Now that this technology is widespread, AFAs are simply traditional arrays with no spinning media that deliver more storage horsepower.
Falling Prices of Flash/Solid State Storage
By mid-2015, indications in the marketplace showed that the price of flash/solid state storage had fallen as much as 75% over the previous 18 months. This trend has continued and encourages data centers to open their wallets to add more flash and solid state memory into their data storage systems.
ESG Survey About General Storage NeedsEnterprise Strategy Group
(ESG,) a well known research firm, surveyed 373 IT decision makers responsible for their organizations’ data storage environments as part of a 2015 research study (and referred to in their 2016 report –link below) investigating general storage trends. Respondents were asked to identify their must-have storage features and the answer that ranked highest was high availability (i.e.: the priority is to ensure data is online and available.). Solid state or flash technology also hit the Top-Ten list and was described as a critical component of a hierarchy of data storage medium.
We see this trend continuing and the adoption rate pursue its growth. As the cost of flash continues to drop, legacy storage arrays designed for disk drives are becoming outdated and all-flash arrays offer a better combination of performance, cost and flexibility for active data especially as larger flash drives continue to enter the market.Find out more about the benefits of all-flash arrays and flash storage in the recently published white paper from ESG and Sentia’s Storage eBook.
If you need help assessing all-flash arrays to address your storage concerns, contact me to discuss the best options for your IT environment and to make sure your flash investment pays off.