Flash Storage: Turbo-Charging the Modern Datacenter

flash storage

Posted on Monday, December 15, 2014

Author: CDS

According to Storage Magazine from TechTarget, flash storage is now included in virtually every datacenter device in a bid to boost I/O performance. From SSD drives to PCIe flash cards, solid state memory is helping to provide significant performance boosts to cope with ever-increasing data sets.

The relative cost difference between flash storage drives and traditional spinning disks remains a sticking point however. Businesses need to balance the price per gigabyte against predictability when making choices about their storage upgrades. Hybrid systems offer a gateway to flash storage, by building arrays that use a combination of SSDs and spinning disks to offer a cost-effective performance advantage. Over time the flash capacity can be increased as SSD costs continue to fall.

Development of SSD technology continues apace, with Intel announcing a recent doubling of the capacity of their M.2 range. The boost means that these cards are now suitable for mass storage, with capacities of up to 1.6TB and five year manufacturer warranties against failure..

Technical developments in storage are set to help the price of flash storage fall further and faster in the foreseeable future too. A new 3D layering technology will see NAND stacks using vertically arranged flash cells delivering even greater performance benefits thanks to closer proximity between cells. Experts suggest that this new 3D technology will be available as early as next year, potentially triggering a price drop for “older” SSD technology shortly after.

One thing is for sure though – the days of the spinning disk drive could be over sooner than expected.