IDC recently published an infographic that illustrates what’s happening with flash in the enterprise these days and identifies several key concerns to address to deploy flash most effectively.
✔ Flash optimized storage architecture
While adding flash to an existing array offers enhanced performance, legacy storage architectures designed for spinning disk just cannot deliver the full performance available with flash storage. For IOPS-hungry virtual workloads, these legacy arrays, even when they do support flash storage, do not compare very well to the newer arrays in terms of metrics like $/IOPS and IOPS/TB.
✔ In-line data reduction
If primary deduplication can be implemented in line without noticeably impacting application performance, then it is broadly applicable to almost any application. Data sets that have more redundancy across files will benefit more from primary deduplication, but almost all commercial production workloads have at least some amount of redundancy in their data. Some workloads, like VDI, can have as much as 90% of their data shared across desktops, offering huge cost savings with the use of primary deduplication.
✔ VM-centric storage management
The ability to integrate with popular platforms through APIs such as VMware VAAI, vCenter management plug-ins, and Microsoft Windows VSS helps the array fit seamlessly into preexisting administrative workflows.
✔ Enterprise-class data services
The availability of enterprise-class storage features is also important. The platform must be highly resilient, supporting online maintenance, no single point of failure, and efficient data protection schemes. Snapshots and replication provide administrative flexibility, data protection, and ease of use, while features such as thin provisioning and cloning can further optimize how storage capacity is used.
✔ QoS for scalable, predictable performance
Smaller initial configurations and self-optimizing storage that evolves over time with workloads add up to significantly lower acquisition and operational costs relative to traditional storage.
✔ Multi-protocol support
The flexibility to support a variety of different storage protocols ensures that the array can fit into evolving environments over time. This can be particularly important for small to midsize enterprises that may be combining multiple workloads onto a single array.