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How To Get The Most Out Of Flash Data Storage

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As the today’s business world creates and relies upon enormous swells of data, so enterprise needs increasingly high-performance storage solutions to optimise data’s usage. 

Flash storage has overtaken traditional HDDs in terms of executing higher levels of input/output (I/O) operations while using less power, but flash becomes costly when deployed large-scale.

However, when hooked into hybrid systems made up of hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs), flash can really make storage infrastructure glow as it can shoulder some of the duties that HDDs finds difficult to manage.

Below are four key considerations to make before leveraging the full force of flash data storage in a hybrid environment.

Monitor workloads

Flash is usually purchased to improve performance levels, but costs can often skyrocket in comparison to the expense of tape/disk combinations.

To identify where and how savings can be made, and where flash would be most appropriately implemented, IT admins can run workload simulations against all-flash-array (AFA) products. This will enable users to isolate weaker points in AFAs.

In terms of random access performance, flash will greatly outperform disk, so speed is a key-value attribute (KVA). However, flash is less effective in sequential performance and so may not provide the desired price/performance advantages.

Big database

Another strong point of flash lies in its capacity to improve performance and efficiencies in data management, for both structured query language (SQL) and noSQL.

Response times are all the more important regarding massive data stores, in which case emphasis on flash is probably the best option. However, smaller datasets and other applications may not require the upgrade.

Flash also performs well in virtual infrastructures, virtual desktops and other structured data sets. However, Direct Attached Storage (DAS) flash combined with caching software can sometimes be the optimum setup for highly-virtualised systems.

Don’t rush into deduplication

Deduplication is helping to change the economics of data management and data protection solutions by bringing down costs of data transferring and storage. It’s often offered by flash vendors but its compression capabilities can vary greatly.

To avoid choosing an unsuitable product, the performance of any new technologies should be known in detail, particularly regarding how deduplication will operate under different workloads and different data content patterns.

Support the flash

Often, a dip in flash performance can be traced to the environment into which it has been set if the supporting architectural foundation is not equally fast performing. Fast data storage works best with a fast server, fast application and a fast interface so that bottlenecks can be minimised.

Tailored to your requirements

Many vendors will try to dictate to you where and why flash storage is needed, but it only needs implementation where the data pain is most severe – these spots will be very apparent to IT users, perhaps even to the C-suite who will want to obtain more time or productivity.

Both can be delivered by flash data storage in ways that were almost impossible a few years ago, but the search for a solution starts with your database’s unique needs. Upon this base a hybrid system can be built, enabling your business to benefit in a flash-optimised future.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation