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Will flash become the new disk for enterprises?

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Why not? Among other benefits, including speed and reliability, flash memory storage technology also enables data centre managers to dramatically accelerate almost any server workload. However, the fact is that flash will not replace disk any time soon in enterprises

BANGALORE, INDIA: Flash is a matured technology today and everybody is aware of the benefits the technology can bring to the table. Usage of flash technology in enterprises is growing and holds a huge potential. However, it is still way short of becoming the 'new disk' (of Turing Award winner Jim Gray saying: 'Disk is the new tape, and flash is the new disk') atleast from an enterprise perspective.

sridhar-s-1Sridhar, director, enterprise, Dell India, says: "Only about 10 per cent of the organizations use SSD today. Around 15 per cent of the disks shipped by Dell in India are with SSD as most customers do a mix and match, today."

Enterprises cannot move to an all flash scenario due to various factors, such as cost, incompatibility etc. So, what enterprise should do is to use flash wherever they need high performance, at a quicker pace .

Barun Lala, director, Storage, HP India, says: "Flash has to be used wisely to realize its benefits. The solution is to use flash for parts of data that is in demand and spinning disk for the rest."

Today most of the enterprises are witnessing high data growth and with the onset of cloud, big data and virtualization technologies their challenges are only growing manifold.

barun-a"Standard spinning disks require more space, power and cooling to be able to cope with this new era. Flash provides an excellent alternative as it high on performance, low on power, space and cooling," adds Barun Lala.

"Most organizations are using flash for database and OLTP workloads. In many IT environments, swift transactions and analysing volumes of data in real time require high performance and low latency. Enhanced performance can boost the efficiency of online transaction processing (OLTP), online analytical processing (OLAP), real-time application processing for data reads and writes, and other I/O-intensive applications. Heightened levels of performance can also be particularly important when deploying collaboration applications or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to boost productivity," notes Sridhar.

The speed and reliability of flash memory storage technology enables data centre managers to dramatically accelerate almost any server workload.

"For everything from high-performance computing (HPC) to video on demand (VOD) to everyday business applications, flash is an option," notes Manisha Sood, country manager & director, SanDisk Corporation India.

Agrees Vivekanand Venugopal, vice president and general manager, Hitachi Data Systems. He says: "In today's information economy, performance equals availability. Any application that cannot tolerate any form of I/O latency or is read intensive will benefit significantly from Flash Technology. OLTP databases, ERP, financial data management, metadata and indexing are some of the applications across industry verticals that would benefit from this technology."


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