August 7, 2016
For years, the largest barrier preventing flash storage from becoming a mainstay in the storage market was price. Even today, there is the perception that flash storage is effective but expensive, powerful but pricey. This may have been true in 2010, but the cost of all flash storage from developers such as Pure Storage has come down to a rate that can compete with traditional hard disk drive (HDD) solutions. Furthermore, the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a Pure Storage all flash array can actually be significantly lower than an equal capacity HDD array.
When thinking about flash storage for your data center, it is important to look beyond the upfront cost of acquisition and factor in the lower operational expenses moving forward.
Save Money, Store Better—All Flash from Pure Storage
- Less Equipment to Support: One of the key advantages of flash storage is its small size. It’s one of the main reasons that flash is used in smartphones and tablets where space is limited. This means less equipment in the data center. Whole cabinets of equipment can be condensed into just a few racks. In an all flash data center, there is less equipment to power, cool, maintain, and store.
- Scalability: For those companies anticipating growth, flash storage is an attractive option. Most developers build their flash solutions with a modular architecture that makes adding additional capacity an easier process.
- Increasing Application Performance: Flash can be a powerful platform to use with your key applications, large databases, or big data analytics tools. Your team will be able to access the information they need faster and therefore, increase productivity.
- In our interview with Pure Storage senior sales engineer, Joe Ferguson, he describes this as moving storage from a commodity to a hero role.
- Data Deduplication: Flash has also made strides in reducing its upfront cost. The main method for accomplishing this involves maximizing the cost per gigabyte ratio. In order to get the most bang for their buck, Pure Storage has implemented data deduplication and compression strategies.Pure Storage uses a combination of five data reduction technologies: pattern removal, 512B aligned and variable dedupe, inline compression, deep reduction, and copy reduction. Through these strategies, Pure advertises a compression ratio of ~11.5:1 compared to disk storage.
The overall trend is that flash is narrowing the gap in price between it and hard disk storage, and this is only going to continue. Today, companies are mostly using all flash for their tier one applications and relegating their legacy hard disk drives to archival functions. In the next five years, we can expect this shift to continue and, eventually, for flash to completely dominate the storage arena.
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For Further Reading:
The One-Two Punch of Pure Storage: Evergreen Storage and Compression