All Flash Storage
An All flash storage array is the ultimate powerhouse when it comes to making sure your digital assets are responsive and optimised for superior performance. Its lightning speed can truly unlock the full power of your application, increasing competencies and allowing you to do more in less time
We provide all flash storage arrays for a variety of different workloads including OLTP, Databases, Virtualisation for Server or Desktop, VOD, VDI, VR, 3D modelling, video editing or molecular modelling. Many of the newer advanced flash arrays utilise data deduplication and this dramatically increases the amount of flash storage capacity available. Please consider that not all data is compressible, and tests would need to be carried out before specifying an all flash design.
All flash storage arrays provides outstanding performance compared to hard disk, but in order to achieve the desired performance, we also consider potential bottlenecks in the network in order to maximize the performance and alleviate any unforeseen issues. By deploying an enterprise flash array, you will typically see a 10x or more performance increase in your system environment which in turn leads to increased productivity. Although the cost of flash storage is coming down the cost per Terabyte is still 2-3x that of a comparable disk storage solution.
What is All Flash Storage?
All flash storage is an architecture that only makes use of solid-state drives (SSDs). Unlike traditional storage systems relying on spinning disks, this system takes advantage of the flash memory technology based on NAND-based flash chips. Storing data electronically, with no mechanical parts to worry about, yields faster access times and enhanced performance.
Speed and efficiency are essential for success. Optimal performance is necessary for any organization or business to reach its full potential. To achieve this, it must ensure that all tasks are completed quickly and accurately, which means having the right tools in place to enable the swift delivery of services. By optimising processes and utilizing advanced techniques, organisations can maximise their speed and performance, thus guaranteeing success.
The remarkable speed and performance of all-flash storage is its primary advantage. Flash memory delivers near-immediate data access with ultra-low latency, meaning applications run expeditiously and efficiently. Read and write speeds far exceeding those of traditional HDDs allow all-flash arrays to handle demanding applications and high transactional workloads, leading to quickened application response times and improved productivity.
All flash storage systems are incredibly efficient in terms of energy use and space saving. Flash-based SSDs use less electricity than HDDs, resulting in cost savings and a reduced environmental impact. Furthermore, all-flash arrays require less physical space, allowing businesses to maximise their data centre design and capitalise on their available real estate.
All flash storage provides amplified dependability and robustness compared to regular HDDs. Unlike their counterparts, SSDs do not have any moving components, making them immune to disk fragmentation or head crashes. This intrinsic durability diminishes the chance of data loss and reduces the requirement for frequent upkeep and substitutions. Furthermore, all flash storage arrays typically feature embedded data security measures such as redundancy and replication, additionally bolstering the dependability of stored information.
All flash storage arrays simplify data management duties and curtails administrative strain. Boasting faster data access and improved performance, organizations can gather different workloads onto a single all-flash array, no longer requiring distinct storage systems and making complexity easier to deal with. Moreover, all flash arrays often bring advanced control features and tools that furnish extensive insight into storage performance, capacity utilization, and data protection; consequently, IT staff can track and control storage resources proficiently.
Real-Time Analytics and Artificial Intelligence are two technologies that continue to revolutionise the modern world. Their combined capabilities allow for unprecedented analysis of data and insights, allowing businesses to better manage their operations and make informed decisions in a timely manner. This can result in increased efficiency, improved customer experience, and higher profitability.
All flash storage has the advantage of speed and agility, making it a great choice for real-time analytics and AI applications. It can process large volumes of data rapidly, allowing businesses to draw useful conclusions and make decisions promptly. Moreover, all-flash arrays can take in information quickly, analyse it quickly and train AI models efficiently; ultimately enabling organisations to gain valuable insights and flourish within various industries.
All Flash Storage vs Hard Disk
Enterprise flash storage capacities are slowly increasing and at present stand at 8TB for an SSD drive, although larger capacity drives have been announced by Seagate and Samsung they are not yet commercially available. With hard disk capacities of 20TB and rising and likely to reach 100TB by 2025. An SSD flash drive has many benefits over hard disks and these are:
- Increased Performance
- Far Lower Latency
- Higher IOP Rating
- Lower Energy Use
- Weigh Less
- Higher Shock Rating
- Run Silently
Whilst flash provides super-fast performance, another important thing to consider is the application and workload you are intending to run on your flash storage. All flash has a limit on the number of DWPD (Drive Writes per Day) permitted by each SSD. If you specify a flash array with a small number of drives and it is being heavily used, it is likely your flash storage will fail sooner than anticipated. Here is an article on what to look out for when buying a flash array.
It is always a useful question to ask as to the type of flash memory deployed in the array, below shows the main types of flash used today.
- SLC stores one-bit-per cell has longer endurance but is significantly costlier to produce with higher capacities.
Enterprise Class – 25 DWPD
- MLC uses two bits per cell, the most common type of SSD used by the flash storage vendors – Enterprise Class – 10 DWPD
- TLC uses three bits per cell. These flash technologies have lower endurance but hold larger capacities and can be produced at lower costs. Consumer Class – 3 DWPD
- QLC uses four bits per cell. These flash technologies have the lowest endurance, highest capacities and lowest cost. Consumer Class – 1 DWPD
The differing types of flash
All of the systems below contain flash storage in one form or another.
- Hybrid Storage – Designed as an intermediary between spinning disks and flash. Introduced over 5 years ago, these were the first storage platforms to take advantage of flash, could provide significant performance improvements, albeit at far less cost than an All-Flash Array.
- SSD Storage – Based on 2.5″ SSD drives, these are primarily designed to replace 1 or 2 drives in an existing disk sub-system to enhance performance. The issue is that a normal RAID storage system cannot handle the massive performance SSD’s provide, basically they overwhelm the data bus. So there is little or no point in replacing 16x spinning disk with SSD as it probably won’t be able to handle it.
- PCIe Storage – Now flash operates at the speed of the bus rather than the SAS/SATA controller. The primary issue with PCIe is the number of controllers that can handle the extra bus speed and the lack of standard compatibility between storage vendors which could cause interoperability issues. Over time these issues will all be incorporated in future versions of PCIe, but for now, it’s a path that hasn’t been tried, tested or approved by standards committees.
- All Flash – Designed to take full advantage of SSD drive technology, allied to high-speed controllers, advanced data analytics and a relatively future-proof upgrade path, these systems are designed to provide the simplest and easiest out of box uses with a number of host interfaces allowing you to connect and go.
- NVMe Flash – NVMe is a high-performance, NUMA (Non Uniform Memory Access) optimised, and highly scalable storage protocol, that connects the host to the memory subsystem. The protocol is relatively new, feature-rich, and designed from the ground up for non-volatile memory media (NAND and Persistent Memory) directly connected to CPU via PCIe interface. The protocol is built on high speed PCIe lanes. PCIe Gen 3.0 link can offer transfer speed more than 2x than that of SATA interface.
All Flash Storage Solutions
All flash storage arrays have transformed the way organisations store, manage, and access data. Offering an unbeatable combination of speed, performance, reliability and scalability, all flash arrays provide a powerful solution for intensive workloads, high-performance applications, and real-time analytics. By making the switch from traditional HDD-based storage to all-flash storage, businesses can make the most of their data and gain a competitive edge while increasing productivity. As technology advances, all flash storage will remain key in meeting the evolving needs of our digital world and helping organizations stay ahead in the data age.
Buying an all flash storage solution it is a high investment and an unknown risk for many companies as they have always bought disk-based systems. Flash storage today is as reliable as hard disk systems and can scale to provide PB’s of usable space. They can have multiple flash controllers, support the latest flash technology developments including NVMe, clustered and provide scalability for performance and capacity.
How can we help?
We work with the world’s leading providers of all flash storage arrays to deliver solutions to enable your organisation to grow, deliver data faster and reduce unnecessary expenditure.
Call or contact us using the details below and speak to us about the type of all flash storage array you need for your business.