Reducing IT Costs With Flash Memory

Flash Memory Data Centre

It’s no secret that flash memory is changing data centre architectures today. In less than a decade, flash has gone from being viewed as a new, unproven technology, to being used in nearly every consumer electronic device as well as numerous data centres. Flash is now accepted by most IT professionals as an ideal way to add application acceleration to the data centre, but some organisations still view adding flash to their architectures as a costly endeavour.

If you view flash from a cost-per-operation perspective, it is actually far more cost effective than disk drive storage. In fact, in a recent survey, 33 percent of my company’s customers reported that they saved close to £60,000 by adding flash to their data centres whilst 14 percent saved close to £150,000, which showcases the significant savings you can make when you evaluate flash from a total cost of opportunity perspective.

Savings Across CapEx and OpEx

The savings possible with flash come from a number of different areas. First of all, reducing storage sprawl means lower capital expenditures. Flash helps today’s powerful servers work to their full potential, so you don’t need as much hardware to accomplish the job. This frees up the servers you have to work on other projects, opening the door to new business opportunities. With more efficient architectures, enterprises are able to get more work out of the hardware they already have in place.

Shrinking infrastructure also greatly reduces operating costs associated with power, cooling, and floor space, delivering operating expense savings that are critical to many enterprises. Mixi, Japan’s largest social media network with over 27.1 million users, is a prime example.

By deploying flash in the data centre, Mixi reduced its server count from several hundred to a few dozen. This reduced Mixi’s data centre footprint by 75 percent, power costs by 80 percent, and significantly decreased the company’s data centre administration costs.

More IT Business Value

Flash memory accelerates applications to process data more quickly, which in turn allows enterprises to extract more intelligence from their information. This valuable intelligence leads to faster execution by businesses that can now respond more quickly to customer preferences and trends, increasing the value of IT as a business function.

With efficient flash-fuelled architectures, IT teams have more time to focus on objectives, rather than servicing systems to meet performance requirements. For example, NHS Bradford and Airedale were able to recover 20 work hours each day and £20,000 per year in travel costs by implementing a VDI solution that utilised IO Accelerators for performance.

The flash-powered solution allowed NHS to successfully replace 4,500 PCs with virtual desktops, saving an additional £90,000 per year in energy consumption and £500,000 in replacement PC expenditures.

Easy Integration

You don’t need to be planning an expensive data centre upgrade to add flash to the infrastructure you already have. While most new servers can ship with flash already installed, it is easy and cost-effective to add flash performance in minutes to your current servers to accelerate the applications that run your business.

With options for adding flash memory across shared storage, direct server acceleration and for virtualisation performance, these solutions can help save money while enhancing the value of IT. It is time to get started today – before your competitors get there first.

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Mat Young

Mat Young is the Senior Director for Fusion-io’s Data Propulsion Lab. Mat joined Fusion-io as the first employee in EMEA in July 2009. Having worked through the storage revolution from DAS to SAN, and now flash memory, Mat has deep experience in utilising infrastructure resources to deliver application performance in scale-out environments.