Does flash spell the end of the 2-tier storage paradigm?

disk drives in a vertical line

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The cost disparity between flash and spinning disks means that most CTOs have been forced to implement a mix of two. Flash is used for mission critical applications, and magnetic drives for storage and archiving capacity.

For some, this two-tier paradigm is frustrating and time consuming – even when using arrays from the same vendor. At the same time, most see an all-flash future for their enterprise storage.

Not all flash is the same

But with the release of the new “ruler” form factor, it becomes apparent that not all flash drives are the same. If anything, manufacturers are working to diversify, rather than consolidate or standardize.

Importantly, new, higher capacity flash modules are also more power hungry than current models; some estimates suggest that high capacity ruler drives require almost as much power as traditional spinning disks. As organizations look to reduce their running costs, racks of very expensive, very power-hungry drive units may not be entirely desirable.

It is therefore very likely that CTOs will be forced to persist with a two-tier storage strategy, whether they want to or not. And where spinning disk continues to prove its worth, a three-tier storage strategy is increasingly feasible.

The CTO can simplify their process of managing a multi-tier storage network by choosing a third party partner who can provide on-going maintenance and support. Choosing a post warranty expert like CDS offers additional value, extending the lifespan of third tier disk storage for instance – or to assist with the migration towards your two-tier, all flash future.

In the world of storage technology, as much as things change, the more they seem to stay the same. The dream of simplified storage may remain just that – even for those running software-defined environments. In the meantime, contact CDS to discuss how we may be able to make the future less painful – and less costly.

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