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Why Flash Storage Excels In Virtual Environments

When we suggest that a company consider an all-flash storage system to solve a performance problem, there is almost always resistance to the cost. That is a fair concern — it’s common knowledge that flash storage is more expensive than hard disk storage. But this is only true when compared device to device. When they compare the cost against the full benefit of the system, we have seen many data centers become believers and actually save money by going with a flash appliance.

The first thing to realize is that few if any flash array or flash appliance vendors really expect you to replace all of your storage with flash. And as we will discuss in our upcoming webinar, “SSD on a Budget,” when used to augment existing storage, an all-flash system can be had for well under $ 100,000.

Many all-flash vendors will try to steer the conversation away from cost per GB to cost per input/output operations per second (IOP) — a good strategy for vendors given the tremendous advantage that flash systems have in IOPS. If you have an application, such as a database, that is specifically IOPS constrained then this might catch your attention.

The traditional way of dealing with a storage performance problem is to create very high-drive-count arrays. The challenge with this approach, of course, is the sheer cost of deploying 100-plus hard drives to generate the right amount of performance. In addition, many data centers will only format the outer edges of those drives to make sure that data is landing on the fastest portion of the drive. This technique obviously wastes even more capacity and consumes even more power and budget dollars.

Network Computing

Categories: General.

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