EMC Goes all out with Flash

Flash storage image

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015

Following news that EMC storage hardware sales have dipped for the first time since 2009, the market leader has bounced back with further news of their new all-flash array (AFA) DSSD project. And although AFA units are not necessarily new (EMC already offer the XtremIO product for instance), they believe that the DSSD project offers an important new option for enterprise data applications.

Where XtremIO is targeted firmly at bullet-proof data environments that need to balance enterprise availability for data services, DSSD has been designed to focus on providing raw speed, with data services taking a back seat. EMC is gambling that providing a choice of solutions will win back market share as customers are not forced into selecting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system and the compromises that such an approach entail.

To help deliver blindingly fast I/O speeds, DSSD features a specialist design that is intended to lower access latency; with access speeds approaching 10ms, DSSD is closer to in-memory latency than other storage access technologies like PCIe or InfiniBand. The EMC-designed flash modules that provide the DSSD storage capacity is alleged to deliver 10x the performance and 5x the reliability of any other SSD/flash drive currently available.

EMC has claimed that DSSD will deliver terabytes of rack-scale flash storage order of magnitude improvement in latency, bandwidth and IOPS. SAP reportedly committed support for the native attachment protocol with their HANA data in-memory database as early as 2014.

Although DSSD has yet to make it to market, EMC clearly believes that there is still a future for the on-site data warehouse, despite the continuing interest in Cloud-based storage solutions. And with a definite choice of available solutions, existing EMC customers may find that their next storage solution upgrade uses AFA to deliver speed and performance – even for less critical applications.