According to The Register, the reality of an all-flash enterprise data center is closer than we think. Flash storage, which refers to data storage technology that functions on an electronically programmable memory, is rapidly appearing in businesses of all sizes due to four key points:
- The price gap among storage technologies has closed more rapidly than predicted
- The demand for greater performance has risen drastically
- Issues surrounding reliability, operating efficiency and manageability have been addressed
- Businesses are moving towards digitalization
The Register says that digitalization is responsible for the change in customers’ expectations of storage technologies, and that “end user and business customers’ expectations are not far behind.” Digitalization, it seems, is the way that many businesses are moving to store data and keep up with customer demands, and stay relevant in the marketplace. For example, The Register says that brick and mortar fashion retailers may use traditional storage for its supply chain management processes, but are “more likely to be using a flash storage infrastructure for its customer facing web-based applications,” and banks are now accepting web payments, rather than traditional in-branch transactions.
Flash data centers are proving to be a greener solution for businesses, too. Flash solutions are not just about raw performance, The Register says. “Flash, being solid state, has no moving parts,” such as spinning disk storage solutions, “so is therefore more reliable and less prone to physical fault,” and more cost effective to run as energy costs increase. Plus, “It’s easier, too, from the perspective of systems management, performance tuning and set up.”
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What decision makers need to know:
With The Register and other publications foreshadowing a fast flash solutions-takeover, decision makers should consider making an upgrade to their current data storage solution. Moving data from a pre-exiting storage solution to a flash solution will take time; as a result, decision makers thinking about investing in flash solutions should start planning as soon as possible so that the data transfer will be as seamless as possible. Plus, handling a mixed bag of solutions – such as keeping a non-flash solution, and weaving in a flash solution – can be a hassle. The Register even notes that end users might face challenges here: “what some users have found is that mixed environments can lead to significant management complexities, additional cost overheads and resource issues.” If problems like these arise, decision makers’ businesses will struggle with living up to customers’ demands, and potentially lose valuable revenue.