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Flash Forward – Flash Storage Is Catching on In the Data Center

Today’s businesses are dealing with a deluge of high-volume, high-velocity information.  From digital photographs, wor­d processing documents and PDFs, to credit card processing and countless other applications, organizations must find a way to store, analyze and hopefully, monetize all that data. Those organizations that can increase their data center performance can gain a competitive advantage. IMPEX is taking a look at a technology growing in popularity, flash storage, to help you make the right decisions for your business.

Whether you want to accelerate a single, intensive I/O application, create a hybrid system or overhaul your data center to increase performance, flash storage can be an effective solution for data center managers.

Today, flash storage is ubiquitous in small computing devices and is becoming more common for larger applications, all the way up to enterprise-class all-flash arrays. Now business are turning more and more to flash in applications such as server virtualization, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and databases. As a result, storage providers such as EMC, Pure Storage, Violin, NetApp, Nimble, Tintri, and Tegile, chip makers like Samsung and server manufacturers including IBM, Oracle and HP, have all entered the flash storage market. So why is flash so compelling?

Performance: Flash-based storage systems perform faster than hard disk drives (HDD). With high value data that is needed very quickly, flash is a better choice than performance disk. Flash works well in demanding environments and can easily support a single application with thousands of concurrent users, as well as multiple applications with diverse workloads.

Power Savings: Flash is free of power-guzzling, rack space-consuming spinning disk enclosures and is a good solution for those looking for ways to achieve green computing or green data center benchmarks. Flash can help improve application response times and achieve faster report turnaround. And, since it lacks moving parts, flash-based storage is more shock resistant and not prone to the mechanical failings that hard drives are susceptible to.

Cost-effective: All-flash arrays are available today for $5-$10 per GB, which is similar to the cost of high-end disk arrays with a flash cache. Manufacturers of all-flash arrays are able to keep the costs competitive by using various methods, including consumer grade multi-level cell (MLC) technology. In addition, they use compression algorithms and data deduplication, which reduces storage needs by eliminating redundant data. Considering factors such as mean time between failure (how often you must replace them), power consumption, value of performance and even data-center real estate, flash storage is more cost effective and competitive relative to spinning disk.

Flash storage offers a practical, cost-effective solution to many of the information challenges currently faced by organizations of all sizes. It’s helping move businesses to a new paradigm, where data storage is automated, simpler to manage and a strategic function, instead of an operational necessity.

If you are thinking about integrating flash storage into your organization, IMPEX Technologies can help. We rigorously test new technologies in our labs, work with the most trusted names in storage, understand the latest technologies and provide honest recommendations. Contact us today to discuss your goals. We want to help take your business to the next level.