Flash Delivers Storage Performance for an Impatient World
In the modern world, patience is no longer a virtue. The net effect of pervasive mobile devices, social networks, and cloud computing is that all of us expect to be able to access information from any device, in any location, from any application—and our tolerance for delay is approaching zero. A few seconds wait in loading a webpage or returning application results is enough to cause us to click over to a different site or abandon a purchase.
At the same time—and perhaps as a consequence—business models are shifting to deliver actionable results more quickly to support data-driven decisions ranging from loan approval to design decisions to manufacturing choices. Businesses face new requirements to deliver a customized experience in every engagement.
For those of us in IT, our task is to create IT infrastructure that is flexible enough and fast enough to power next-generation applications that can meet the expectations of a data-driven world. Storage performance is on the critical path to this goal.
The Architectural Need for Flash
Traditional storage has become a bottleneck. Increasing the CPU power of servers no longer leads to better application performance. Many of us have probably experienced the tremendous speed-up that occurs when you upgrade a laptop with a flash SSD—the solution for the data center is almost as simple.
All-flash storage systems introduce a new architectural option for the data center that delivers much more performance at much less cost.
Figure 1) Flash cost and performance versus DRAM and disk.
Source: NetApp, 2015
Moving performance workloads to all-flash storage saves 100x over disk-based alternatives. Upgrading your IT infrastructure to include all-flash storage not only solves performance issues, it provides immediate return on investment (ROI). It’s not uncommon to find Enterprise servers running at 20% CPU utilization, while cloud providers achieve utilization approaching 90%. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and with databases and other applications moving to licensing on a per-core basis, increasing utilization is going to become a much bigger priority in coming months.
Pay for Your Flash Upgrades with Software Savings
If you aren’t aware of it yet, there’s a perfect storm coming to the data center in 2015 that all of us will need to address.
The silver lining here is that the right flash storage can help address these issues, and it offers a huge return on investment in the form of increased server utilization and decreased licensing costs.
Simple math shows the magnitude of the opportunity: Doubling CPU utilization opens the door to cut servers by half and consolidate database software licenses for the same workload. Tripling utilization cuts your costs by two-thirds, and so on.
If your data center is facing these challenges, you can’t afford not to upgrade to flash.
The Most Critical Workloads are Extremely Sensitive to Storage Performance
There are three critical workloads that are the biggest concerns for many people in IT. Not only are these workloads extremely sensitive to storage performance, but upgrading your storage can generate huge returns:
Databases are obviously critical in most data centers, and with 70%-80% of all enterprise workloads now virtualized, the performance of virtualized infrastructure has a direct impact on almost everything. The only impediment to wider adoption of virtual desktops has been the cost per seat versus cost of a physical desktop. Higher storage performance is the solution in all three cases.
NetApp Flash Solutions Deliver Performance and ROI
NetApp offers a portfolio of all-flash solutions with significant advantages to address your high-performance database, virtual server, and virtual desktop needs.
Figure 2) Significant advantages and rapid ROI for your most performance-sensitive workloads.
Source: NetApp, 2015
No matter what your storage performance needs, we’ve got flash solutions to address your requirements and budget, and we can help you choose the best solution.
We will be bringing you more detailed information on each of these use cases in future issues of Tech OnTap. This month’s issue includes an article on flash for database performance. Look for articles on VDI and virtual server environments in March and April.
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