Do you really need to Upgrade to Flash Storage?


Posted on Friday, April 24, 2015

The promise of faster I/O performance makes flash storage an easy sell, particularly as the gains in productivity have a genuine cost benefit attached. But as with all newer technologies, this performance boost comes at a cost which increases exponentially in line with your storage capacity needs.

So should you extend the life of your existing spinning disk solutions, or replace them with a new SSD-based alternative?

When SSD is a no-brainer

For I/O intensive operations where performance is paramount, flash storage is by far the best choice, even if it does cost more. Line-of-business applications that are liable to bursts of activity, like database-heavy software, will also benefit from improved access speeds.

Spinning disks may offer similar capacity at a lower $ per GB rate, but the trade-off in terms of lost productivity may actually cost more in the long term. Increases in SSD lifespans also means that wear is much less of an issue than in the past.

When you need to carefully consider the trade-offs

For other standard applications, the decision is much harder. Is current performance using spinning disks considered acceptable? Would the performance benefits of SSD really result in major productivity gains?

You will probably need to consider the benefits on a case-by-case, application-by-application basis, potentially re-architecting your current set-up by moving some functions to newer, flash-based storage.

When spinning disks win hands-down

For everything else, particularly archive data, spinning disks remain a cost-effective solution that allows your business to keep information online at all times. For systems where data access speeds are not the most important factor, spinning disks will continue to suffice for many years. And the low $ per gigabyte price means that you can keep your entire data warehouse online indefinitely, simplifying access and ensuring it is always available to your users.

With post-warranty support services from CDS, there is no need to be forced into an OEM-defined upgrade to new storage technologies before your business is ready. In fact CDS is still supporting disk storage units that are 25 years or more in age – and they continue to serve those businesses admirably.

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