Flash Storage

Flash Storage Solutions

The landscape for enterprise storage has changed dramatically. Traditional mechanical based storage systems have EMC-logoreached the performance limits for enterprise workloads such as:

  • Flash Storage For VDI
  • Flash Storage For Virtualisation
  • Flash Storage for Database

The inability and limitations of mechanical storage to meet the growing needs of the data center makes for

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 costly workarounds. Increasing drive and server counts require ever-increasing costs to acquire, operate and manage storage systems, as well as additional complexity and risk of failures. All other areas of the data center have increased performance significantly, except disk storage:

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Organisations need new storage systems based on devices like flash memory that can surpass the limitations of mechanical storage and meet the performance demands for high enterprise workloads, and address record level power, cooling and overall datacenter maintenance costs.

 

In recent years, Solid State Drives (SSD) based on flash media that are not bound by mechanical limitations have come to market. Single SSD drives are capable of random I/O that would require hundreds of hard drives to match. However obtaining this performance from a single SSD or an array full of them is challenging. This is where flash storage can help Tier 0 environments succeed.

The Storage I/O Crisis

Storage arrays worked well enough for many years but have become increasingly challenged due to advancements in server design and virtualisation technology that create what has come to be known in the industry as the “I/O Blender”. In short, the I/O Blender is an effect that causes high levels of workload randomization as seen by a storage array.

 

The Time For Flash Is Now

Flash memory has the potential to transform enterprise storage.

It increases performance while significantly reducing power and space requirements. In addition, the IOPS performance of flash roughly scales linearly per GB rather than per spindle.

 

Svr Attached
PCI Flash

Array With
Flash Cache

Array With
Flash Tier

All Flash
Storage Array

PCI card in
application serverHost CPU typically used for flash management5-10 TB
Flash as read and/or write cache in array, or to cache FS metadataAll data persistent to spinning diskTypically low% of total capacity Sub-LUN/FS tiering, where a LUN or FS
is spread across
flash and diskHot blocks and files moved to flash, cold left on diskTypically low % of total capacity
100% flash arrayEither MLC or SLC implementations

What Type Of Flash Storage Solution Is Right For You?

With so many options available, each with strengths and weaknesses, it can be challenging to evaluate them all effectively. ITgility can help.

Our solution architects can sit with you to review your organisation’s current environment and strategic business needs, evaluating things like types of flash memory (single-level cell vs. multi-level cell), and wear leveling (no-wear leveling, dynamic wear leveling, or static wear leveling.) Read our white paper on Flash Storage for more information about these topics.