Enterprise Tech Central

Is flash storage now mainstream?

This week IT Central Station is featuring a guest blog post by Calvin Zito, Storage Expert at HP. Thanks Calvin for your contribution!

I’ve been thinking about what was the most significant storage trend in 2014. In the past, I’ve been caught up in “hype” – those topics that get more attention than they probably deserve or have vendors all creating their own definition and creating confusion along the way. So I’ve become sensitive to sniffing out hype.

Four or five years ago, solid-state disk (SSD) – or flash – was one of the much-hyped topics. I remember one storage vendor saying that all hard drive disks (HDDs) would be replaced with SSDs by 2013. Well, obviously 2013 came and went, and while SSD was gaining momentum, it wasn’t mainstream. Mark Peters, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group said, “Solid-state storage is an important emerging change, not just an addition or tweak, in the world of storage.”

Is flash now mainstream?

In a word, yes. So what’s changed now that flash has gone mainstream? Consider several factors:

  • Cost of SSDs has dropped dramatically – by more than 100% since the beginning of 2014
  • Deduplication – an emerging technology used to remove duplicate data that can increase the useable capacity of SSD by 4 to 20 or even 30 times
  • Combining those two factors, the cost per gigabyte (GB) of flash has dropped to the cost of 15k RPM HDDs – at least it has for HP 3PAR StoreServ

More flash for your cash

Adaptive Sparing.pngOne of the unique HP 3PAR innovations that has allowed us to drive down the cost of flash even further is something called Adaptive Sparing. 3PAR has a data striping mechanism called wide striping. This spreads data across all of the drives in 3PAR. As a result of wide striping, we have worked with SSD vendors to have more SSD drive capacity available to use. It releases the spare capacity present in each SSD media to the SSD itself, allowing SSDs to use that spare capacity as additional capacity. For example, what other vendors sell as a 1.6 terabyte (TB) drive is a 1.9 TB drive with HP 3PAR.

I have a short video that tells the flash storage going mainstream story from a customer’s perspective. Lee Pedlow is the Sr. Director of Production Services at Sony Network Entertainment International. He joins the head of HP Storage David Scott to discuss the benefits they see with flash storage. Lee talks about:

  • Doing a “bake-off” with EMC, Pure Storage and HP 3PAR
  • Choosing HP 3PAR All-Flash because they saw a 5-to-10 fold performance improvement
  • Consolidating from 7 racks of EMC VMAX to a single rack of HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 All-Flash Storage – and the rack they’re using is only 25% occupied
  • Transfering and integrating data with their existing Oracle applications was transparent

Read more about HP 3PAR Flash Arrays or download a free buyer’s guide for more information!

Julia Frohwein

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