Flash storage is only growing in popularity and use. Whether it’s for personal means or large-scale use in businesses, it’s becoming the preferred option over a spinning disk.
Traditional hard drives were spinning discs with mechanical parts. Flash storage has no moving parts.
A recent survey held by 451 Research revealed that 90% of all data centers use flash storage over spinning disk. With numbers like that, we have to ask – what makes flash such an appealing and valuable option for data centers?
- Lower Long-Term Costs
Flash costs more than spinning disks initially, making it seem like a poor upgrade to make. However, a flash storage array requires less hardware to operate – which saves space – and is easily scalable, meaning that data centers no longer need to grow physically or accept the expenses of an upgrade whenever more space is needed. Add this to its lower energy costs and fewer regular repairs, it means businesses will see a level of return on their investment than they will with long-term spinning disks.
The design of flash storage itself is meant to be more durable. In the same way blue collar users can depend on their USB stick to handle a blow much better than their old spinning disk, data centers can have peace of mind that replacing storage or making repairs won’t be necessary due to something as simple as overheating or a clumsy accident.
Additionally, internal protective measures that have kept data secure with traditional disks is also highly adaptable for flash, meaning that data centers don’t need to abandon their former availability features.
- Faster Response Times
Users are accustomed to faster response times and organizations are rivaling to be the first to give it to them. A storage solution that offers real-time data processing is where flash pulls ahead, processing data in sub-microseconds, which is nearly instantaneous. In contrast, disks are known for processing only in milliseconds. With flash, the right people gain access to data immediately and on a much larger scale.
- Better Performance
One of the most appealing aspects of flash storage is that it thrives on larger workloads – a trait that is valuable to data centers, especially growing ones. Flash storage is made for parallelism, so the more data you give it to process, the faster it will be able to do so. However, spinning disks work exactly the opposite, operating much slower as it encounters random data. By choosing the flash option, data centers are able to embrace growth and agility, with a performance rate that only improves the longer it’s in use.
- A Simplified Process
The more complicated the process of querying and importing data, the longer it will take a storage option to complete the process. It also leaves more room for error. This may mean the end user is left to wait, or additional work hours are necessary to correct these errors. Traditional spinning disks work well with structure and consistency, but data doesn’t always allow this, with random data throwing a wrench in its process of single-thread writing. Flash, however, simplifies the process and brings agility into the game, eliminating the need to sort and then write the data, and instead jumping right to the finish. This process makes it easier to avoid unexpected errors and it also lowers the CPU, optimizing the entire process.
- Faster I/O
Many data centers struggle with the sheer amount of data coming in, and it’s the I/O rate that suffers under this extreme load. If the SLA doesn’t break, then productivity takes a sharp fall, requiring more hours to be put in by the experts and for users on the other end to experience delays. Flash storage has the ability to handle more of the weight without latency, boasting of excellent parallelism and better throughput – meaning more data can be ran without crashes or slower rates, turning a possible eight hour job into an hour job.
- More at Once
Batch jobs are the bane of both productivity and clarity. A disk’s ability to only shoulder so much weight at once means that data centers have to give it bite-sized workloads so it doesn’t overwhelm itself and drop in processing power. However, flash storage is able to take on more at once and process it in large clusters; and the more diverse the data, the better. This means professionals can give it multiple tasks at once and allow it to work with less supervision, saving time and boosting the pace of work.
~ Rick Delgado