As an Enterprise business, why should you move to an All Flash Storage Datacenter?
There are a number of reasons why 2016 is an important year in terms of the storage…..
Firstly, we all use flash as consumers….it’s now the norm. Would you swap the SSD in your laptop and move back to spinning disk? I think not.
Secondly, the economics of All Flash storage/SSD’s are starting to look good from a cost/capacity/TCO perspective.
Thirdly, improve business agility.
We are starting to see a shift from a media perspective from hard disk drives (HDDs) to Flash. Supply-side developments make 2016 a very interesting year on the industry’s journey to all flash data centers.
The cost curves of Flash have now come into a range where the benefits of Flash outweigh any disadvantages. Keep in mind that the workloads we are talking about tend to be random hence pushing the envelop of Moore’s law. DRAM and Flash is now more strategic than ever. Customers running Oracle for example can enjoy consistent low latency (provided the software architecture of the array allows that) and run a more efficient system at the same time because no internal data movement is needed. Interestingly All Flash configurations also mean lower IO density of the overall Flash capacity which helps prolong the life of the drives in addition to the optimisations we already have in the software.
So what is enabling the shift? Supply side innovation. Most Flash drives now use NAND technology. Horizontal scaling and density allowed suppliers like Samsung to build out capacity of the drives and lower costs over time. In 2014, Samsung brought a 3D NAND drive to the market. Stacking cells vertically has several benefits: it provides a higher capacity/volume ratio in a smaller physical space and improves electrical performance by shortening the interconnect length between cells (which also reduces power consumption).
Wikibon projected that flash would be the lower cost alternative for active data. The diagram below shows Wikibon’s technology projection for pure capacity data. It shows that flash (the blue line) will become a lower cost media than disk (the red line) for almost all storage in 2016, as scale-out storage technologies enable higher levels of data sharing, and lower storage costs.
The green line in below shows the ratio between capacity flash and capacity HDD. The is -50% in 2015 (Flash is twice the cost). By 2016, flash will be 19% lower cost, and this will grow quickly from 2017-2020.
The keys to achieving the lower costs of flash are:
Consumer demand for flash that will continue to drive down enterprise flash costs;
New scale-out flash array architectures that allow physical data to be shared across many applications without performance impacts;
New data center deployment philosophies that allow data to be shared across the enterprise rather than stove-piped in storage pools dedicated to particular types of applications.
2016 will be a time to make some important decisions if you have a storage refresh coming up. Do you continue to do what you’ve always done with spinning disk and wait for the next refresh in 3/4 years or do you make the transition? Are your competitors adopting flash faster to gain a competitive advantage?
How do All Flash Storage Arrays bring business agility?
Production and test/dev environments have been kept on seperate storage because you cannot compromise the performance of production workloads. Running reports and data analytics have to be done during quiet periods. Now you can consolidate all these workloads on to an All Flash Array (AFA) without compromising performance.
The challenges around meeting all performance SLA’s. For once, DBA’s will be able to spend much less time performance tuning so they can focus on innovation instead. As a result IT can become more strategic to the business.
Simplify operations. No performance tuning, no tiering of workloads, minimal management and configuration.