What is All-Flash Storage Arrays?

The all flash storage array has matured to the point where it is now powering much of the growth in the enterprise storage business. Advances in the design, performance and management capabilities of solid state drive (SSDs), coupled with declines in cost, make flash storage viable for many workloads. The category includes NAND flash, SSD SATA, tiered storage and NAND flash memory. Enterprise storage is relentlessly demanding, though, so potential buyers need to think critically about what makes the best choice of flash array.

IT Central Station members who have experience with solid state storage emphasize ease of use as an essential selection criterion.  They suggest asking if daily and weekly tasks can be completed easily. For example, how difficult is it to add or change storage volumes and logical unit numbers (LUNs)?

Performance also matters, though many members comment that virtually all flash drives offer strong performance. Look closely at (IOPS), reduced footprint and lower power usage. In addition, they suggest asking whether one needs an array with larger block size and one where compression and de-duplication can be enabled or disabled on select volumes. But, reviewers add, it’s important to understand one’s data. For example, with an Oracle database, block size will matter a great deal.

Data reduction and data management capabilities factor into many comments about solid state hard drive selection. Deduplication and compression help manage storage growth. Reviewers also point out that recovery abilities matter with solid state drives. No one wants data loss if the storage array powers down suddenly.

Data storage companies offer many different reporting options. IT Central Station members stress the importance of this feature. For instance, do reports show the business the efficiencies provided by the storage infrastructure? Or, do they report on the specifics of data compression, de-duplication rates, I/O Latency reports and so forth.

Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: January 2020.
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