Contributed by: Mike Gluck on May 26, 2017.

Flash technology answers the question of “How can I modernize my IT infrastructure to keep up with demands for more agility, efficiency, and speed?”

Sanity Solutions has been successfully helping our clients to modernize their data centers and transform their IT infrastructure to be more competitive in the emerging digital marketplace. We continually hear our customers say that they need to rebalance their IT expenditures to spend less on keeping the lights on, and more on innovation to help their business units be more competitive. It is no secret that mobile and the Internet of Things is drastically changing how companies are having to run their businesses, deliver new products and services or to simply improve their customer experience. Some people call this the “Amazon Effect”.

Flash Storage is one of the key technologies to modernize the infrastructure and is often the catalyst for driving out cost by increasing efficiencies so that companies can invest more in new types of applications to drive new experiences. Flash storage technology is driving a fundamental market shift away from traditional rotating hard disk drives and is being driven by the rapid decrease in the cost of solid state storage.

What exactly is flash storage and how does it differ or compare to SSDs? Flash is a type of memory that is very fast and doesn’t require continuous power. When it is incorporated into a hard disk drive form factor, such as a 2.5 inch disk drive, it is commonly referred to as a Solid State Disk or SSD. However, new form factors such as M.2 (pronounced M dot two) are internally mounted computer expansion cards compatible with PCI Express high-speed memory connection lanes.

Because it is based on semiconductor technology, it benefits from Moore’s law, which refers to an observation made by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on semiconductor integrated circuits typically doubles every 18 months and thus drives down the cost.

There are several key business outcomes that can be enabled with flash storage. Here are some examples:

  • A banking customer was able to increase application performance by a factor of five which resulted in a 50% reduction in the management time required.
  • An oil and gas company achieved not only a 14% reduction in the cost per effective TB, but also achieved a reduction in annual maintenance of 50% and the added benefit of being a more environmentally friendly company with a 58% overall savings in power and cooling.
  • A golf company running SAP for their Production and Landscapes was able to reduce their database ETL (Extract, Transact, Load) times by 75%. This shorted long running SAP batch jobs from 3 days to 1 day because the flash storage was fast enough to run seven times more production snapshots.

Flash can be a great source for increased efficiencies and a useful tool in helping transform infrastructures with the latest in modern technologies. Let Sanity help you navigate the best storage options for your IT systems and check out Flash Part 2: How Flash contributes to a hyper-converged environment.

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