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Evaluate the Role of Solid State in the Next Storage Purchase

Disk is not dead, but flash will be a factor in your next storage purchase.


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Solution Set Storyboard thumbnail


  • ING Direct
  • Fusion-io
  • Nimbus Data
  • ProMedica
  • STEC
  • Texas Memory Systems (an IBM company)
  • Violin Memory
  • Virident

Your Challenge

  • Currently there are no best practices surrounding solid state storage. Most organizations are adding solid state storage drives (SSDs) and/or flash cache (PCIe-based flash) to storage arrays because they trust traditional storage vendors and they don’t want to break with the traditional model.
  • There are a lot of non-traditional storage vendors that have found solid use cases and solutions using flash storage, but it’s difficult to get straight and trusted answers to classes of these products and how they shake out in the larger market.
  • It can be difficult to determine what type of flash storage is best suited for your environment and requirements, as there are many ways to deploy flash, including PCIe-based flash, combined flash-and-HDD arrays, and all-flash arrays.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Each method of deploying flash storage has its advantages and disadvantages. It is critical to understand which arrangement best suits your needs.
  • Flash is often perceived as expensive, however, it offers a number of advantages, including higher input/output operations per second (IOPs) performance over disk storage. The advantages must be weighed against the greater capital cost.
  • It is essential to understand both the limitations of the technology and the probable future growth of your infrastructure to ensure you are purchasing a solution that will continue to successfully meet your needs.

Impact and Result

  • Flash works best with in-demand applications that benefit from its speed and latency advantages, but might be overkill for data that spends most of its time at rest.
  • Understand where flash will work best for your specific use case and avoid over-paying for more than you need.
  • Ask the right questions of flash vendors when evaluating solid state storage in order to get the right flash solution and better manage your infrastructure as a whole.

Research & Tools

1. Evaluate flash storage vendors and their product capabilities

Select the most appropriate offering for business needs at a competitive price point.

2. Evaluate flash storage vendors and their product capabilities

Select the most appropriate offering for business needs at a competitive price point.

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Search Code: 58209
Published: March 20, 2013
Last Revised: March 20, 2013