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The Effects of Flash Storage on Storage Infrastructure

In this guest article, HPE explores how flash storage is changing the landscape of storage infrastructure. 

Flash storage has attained significant market growth over the years, with enterprise SSD revenues nearly quadrupling between 2012 and 2017.  And in 2017, the value of enterprise SSDs exceeded the value of conventional hard disk drives. However, flash storage has not only changed the fundamental way we store data, it has also changed the surrounding infrastructure.

– Source: Hyperion Resources, Gartner; The Register; and Stifel 2018

storage infrastructure

Flash storage has not only changed the fundamental way we store data, it has also changed the surrounding infrastructure.

With the introduction of the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) standard in 2011, a flash-optimized host interface standard was provided to take advantage of the low latency and inherent parallelism of flash-based storage devices. This standard removes the spinning hard drive assumptions of older standards and unleashes the performance advantage of flash-based storage. The advantages of the NVMe standard is now being leveraged across network fabrics, with the new NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeoF) network standard.

The usage of flash storage has affected storage strategies in the use of flash as buffers or caches to enhance performance.  Even hard drives use flash in the sense of built-in caches. And with continuing development of flash technology, such as 3D NAND for increased capacity and DRAM storage memory such as Intel Optane Memory for increased performance, coupled with the anticipation that flash memory will be only double the price per GB in 2021, it is to be expected that the future will be flash oriented.

The usage of flash storage has affected storage strategies in the use of flash as buffers or caches to enhance performance.

Perhaps one of the final steps in the progression of a flash-dominant world is the development of accompanying software-defined storage.  One example of this is WekaIO Matrix. This is a flash-optimized parallel file system, created for use with high speed networks and architected to provide high IOPS and low latency performance. WekaIO Matrix is highly scalable, tiers to object storage or cloud to optimize capacity economics, and resilient to failure with a distributed data protection scheme and fast rebuild times. By using a modern design, WekaIO Matrix leverages the entire flash storage infrastructure for high performance, overcomes the traditional limitations of parallel file systems with small files, and is well-suited for next generation workloads in HPC and AI.

Read more about flash storage trends in an Hyperion Research Technology Spotlight. 

Learn more about WekaIO Matrix.

 

 

 

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