The cloud is one of the most exciting IT developments we have seen in recent years. Cloud loyalists are certain that data centres are going to be shut down and businesses will finally be able to use their basements for something more productive. In my eyes however, the basement is the perfect place to house a data centre, made up of flash systems. These are why I believe flash systems are the future of data storage.
1. Businesses Work Outside The Cloud
The cloud is one of the most exciting innovations we have seen in recent years, and it will be very useful to some, increasing productivity through collaboration. However, not every business needs to migrate everything. People get used to processes, and have worked happily up till now outside the cloud.
Cloud migration wastes precious time and importantly, where businesses are concerned, money. If you choose to migrate with Amazon or Google’s cloud services, staff will be required to learn new software which again will waste critical time and lower productivity and perhaps not even work for your business.
Many larger organisations are yet to fully migrate into the cloud, instead choosing to use a ‘hybrid’ system, hosting core infrastructures on their own systems and peripheral infrastructures which are suited more to the cloud, in the cloud. Businesses will therefore still require data centres to house these core processes, and flash systems are the answer.
2. Data & Processing Requirements Are Growing
Businesses continue to demand higher speed, greater processing power, and more storage. It is estimated there will be a 45 fold growth of data storage by 2020, therefore the majority who store data physically will continue to require greater capacity and speed.
Physical space for data centres, especially in the UK is an ever worrying premium, flash-systems are set to combat these issues because they take up so much less space for a higher capacity. Previously when your data centre needed more space, you would just install some more disks. This is not only expensive, but costly in terms of energy.
3. Flash Systems Are Cheaper To Run
Flash systems use significantly less power than their hard drive counterparts, making them significantly cheaper to run. This is because, unlike conventional hard drives, flash systems contain no moving parts as there are no spinning drives which require more power to run and create more heat, also requiring greater cooling systems.
Flash systems are expensive to set up, but in the long run businesses will save money. Furthermore, flash systems can be gradually installed, with businesses able to retain their hard disk drives for data retention and flash systems prioritised for high end processes.
Data storage demands for businesses are always growing, it therefore makes business sense to invest in flash systems in order to pre-empt growing capacity demands and reduce electricity costs. Businesses need this extra storage to do more at less costs.
4. Flash Systems Are Quicker
Flash systems provide more power and speed than a conventional storage system. Typically a request through a conventional data storage system takes an average of 5200 microseconds, however when a flash system is used this is reduced to 400 microseconds.
For some applications such as banking, flash systems can provide 90 percent reductions in transaction times. For businesses who require high speed processing, flash systems are the future. They can get hold of data immediately in order to instantly make business decisions and increase productivity ‘per core’ in order to reduce license costs.
The benefits of flash systems are clear. However I do not expect businesses to simply ignore the cloud. The cloud is a fantastic innovation, and from my experience we are increasingly seeing hybrid systems crop up. Businesses are upgrading their data storage to flash systems to increase potential processing power and capacity, whilst also moving certain processes such as those which require regular remote access into the cloud.
Good business is reliant on maximum productivity, which requires maximum speed and process management. Flash can deliver this and is regularly being implemented as part of both private and hybrid Clouds dependent on business needs. Flash systems have a key role to play in the future of data storage, many businesses are already reaping the rewards, with more set to benefit in the near future.