Flash Solutions


Disk-based storage systems have been in the data center architecture for the last 50 years and change is underway. Consumers have benefited from Flash technology via USB drives, smart cards for cameras and let’s not forgot the iPhone. These devices are all Flash base. When you implement Flash in your data center, you can start reaping the benefits immediately.

Let’s put this in perspective. Conservatively speaking, one Flash drives can deliver 25,000 IOPS sustained in a 2.5in form factor. To get that same performance with disk, you would need 166 2.5in form factor drives and 12u of rack space!

Flash comes in many different varieties. The most common are:

  • PCIe Based Flash – These solutions are very limited in the amount of capacity they can hold, since they must fit onto a PCIe card and go into a server. If you have a very small database or a very focused I/O issues, PCIe cards are a great fit for the workloads. Unlike their peers, these solutions are isolated and do not provide the ability to be shared across servers.
  • Hybrid Flash Arrays – These solutions are a blend of Flash and disk drives. They are purpose built to provide the best of both worlds, that is, using Flash for critical performance and disk for capacity, lower performance needs. Hybrid arrays are often found with data services like compression, tiering, replication, encryption, deduplication and more. Some solutions are limited in the amount of capacity they can support, while others can effectively scale up to meet demand.
  • All Flash Arrays – These solutions are 100% Flash based technologies, whether they are 2.5in SSD drives or built for purpose NAND Flash based modules, the solutions leverage all Flash. These solutions also provide data services like compression, tiering, replication, encryption, deduplication and more. All Flash arrays are commonly used to improve Tier 0 or Tier 1 application performance. As cost continues to come down, these arrays will be a good candidate to replace tier 2 disk based solutions as well.

Investing in Flash solutions today to achieve optimal application performance can come with financial rewards. Application performance is often bounded by disk IO limitations. By adding Flash, you can significantly improve application and business performance and potentially contain application costs through minimizing compute power that many applications use as a licensing vehicle. Fewer servers plus high-performance storage with Flash can equal an off-set in Flash investment by reducing application licensing costs when the application is licensed by the number of servers.

CMI has been working for years helping our clients gain optimal performance from their storage systems in the Adaptable Data Center®. Contact us today so we can work with you to Flash Forward to greater success.