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Top 8 All-Flash Storage Arrays

Pure Storage FlashArrayDell PowerStoreDell Unity XTNetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)HPE Nimble StorageHPE 3PAR StoreServDell PowerMax NVMeIBM FlashSystem
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    Provides fast access and is user-friendly.The product cheaper compared to other solutions concerning the technology that they are using.
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    It provides a big benefit when upgrading a new VMware environment. For example, in a big environment with 10 to 30 ESXs, you can take everything and put that into PowerStore. So, it is cost-effective, which is very important and has been massive for us. You reduce almost 80% from the hardware and work directly from PowerStore. Building hardware, especially in a big VMware environment, is a big issue for my organization.
  3. Buyer's Guide
    All-Flash Storage Arrays
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: July 2022.
    622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. leader badge
    The most valuable feature is the fast cache with functionality rewrite. Using this solution has meant that I do not need to look for different partners to provide me with solutions like a backup service. Dell provides end to end solutions.
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    One of the main features that we love about the system is the ability to create snapshots. NetApp makes a lot of snapshots in a short space of time. Also, the speed of data recovery with NetApp, at the time we need it, is an important feature that we love.
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    They have really thought through their solution. They've covered everything.The capacity for data storage and compression is good.
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    We deployed 3PAR in the national and international markets. It's not bad, the solution. HPE 3PAR StoreServ has a good interface, it is user-friendly and easy to use.
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  9. leader badge
    The best feature is the protection - PowerMax NVMe is volume-based and replicates data, so it's very comfortable for us to use.It allows us to protect our data using different data centers and replicate bi-directionally between our two main data centers.
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    The most valuable features of IBM FlashSystem are performance and security.IBM FlashSystem is a stable solution.
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Advice From The Community

Read answers to top All-Flash Storage Arrays questions. 622,358 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Rony_Sklar
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

How does VDI work? 

Is All-Flash required, or can it work on other storage arrays?

reviewer1222509 - PeerSpot reviewer
reviewer1222509VDI is a server farm for virtualizing dedicated user desktops. Detailed… more »
8 Answers
Storemgr67 - PeerSpot reviewer
Storemgr67
Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

I'm researching flash storage arrays. I'm looking for advice about which of these two options is better - IBM flash 9200 or EMC VMAX8000. 


Any recommendations?

Martin Nagy - PeerSpot reviewer
Martin NagyHI, I would go definitely for PowerMax 8000 series instead of VMAX (old… more »
5 Answers
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Rony_Sklar
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

What are some major benefits of all-flash storage arrays? Why should companies invest in all-flash as opposed to a different storage solution? 

AliBizmark - PeerSpot reviewer
AliBizmarkIt has better performance than Hybrid storage and customers can have more IOPS… more »
9 Answers
Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Rony_Sklar
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

How do thick and thin provisioning affect all-flash storage array performance? What are the relative benefits of each?

Mark S. Cruce - PeerSpot reviewer
Mark S. CruceNo performance implications. Its just a provisioning strategy... In thick… more »
12 Answers
Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!
it_user208149 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user208149Primary requirement for me is the data reduction using data de-duplication… more »
24 Answers
Nurit Sherman - PeerSpot reviewer
Nurit Sherman
Content Specialist
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

We all know that it's important to conduct a trial and/or proof-of-concept as part of the buying process. 

Do you have any advice for the community about the best way to conduct a trial or POC? How do you conduct a trial effectively? 

Are there any mistakes to avoid?

it_user70797 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user70797The best advice I can offer is to clearly define the business objectives for the… more »
9 Answers

All-Flash Storage Arrays Topics

What is All-Flash Data Storage?

Also called all-flash arrays (AFA), all flash-data storage is a type of storage infrastructure that consists entirely of flash drives instead of spinning-disk or hard drives. All-flash is also called solid-state array (SSA).

The AFA enables organizations to have faster and better operations, performance, and agility for business applications. Some companies will mix flash and disk drives in a hybrid array, but this doesn’t give them the same benefits as replacing all hard disks with AFA.

One of AFA’s characteristics is that it includes native software services for data management and data protection in the array hardware. This saves users from having to purchase and install third-party management software to protect data.

Flash vs. SSD Storage

Flash memory is often confused with solid-state disk (SSD) storage. However, they are not the same thing. A solid-state drive is any storage device without moving parts. Thus, flash is a type of SSD, but not every SSD is flash. Because people are familiar with flash USB drives, many users confuse the terms. An all-flash array (AFA) replaces the disk supporting input/output processes and storage.

SSDs use flash memory to ensure a high-speed when reading/writing data, reaching speeds of over 5GBs/s. To achieve this, they read or write multiple flash memory chips simultaneously, having between 4 and 16 channels to access flash storage.

Flash Memory vs. RAM

Both technologies are based on solid-state chips, and thus considered solid-state storage. However, they are used differently in a computer system.

Flash memory is used for storing, reading, and writing data at high speeds.

RAM (random access memory) is the part of your computer memory that performs operations on the data retrieved from storage.

Both flash memory and RAM are faster than hard disk drives (HDD) because of their solid-state nature. RAM, however, is faster than flash. On the downside, it is also more expensive. It is also volatile, which means it cannot hold data when the power is down.

Regarding costs, there are two types of RAM used in computer systems: SRAM (static RAM) and DRAM (dynamic RAM). Static RAM is usually faster, but as such, much more expensive than DRAM. Therefore, organizations use SRAM for memory cache, and DRAM for operational memory for the operating system and applications.

Flash memory is less expensive than RAM and is non-volatile. Therefore, it can hold data without being connected to power. The downside of flash memory is that compared to RAM memory types, it is significantly slower. Organizations use flash in use cases that require reduced power consumption and persistent storage at a lower cost.

Features of All-Flash Arrays

Some of the basic features to consider when looking for an AFA vendor include:

  • Capacity: Vendors offer capacity in terabytes (1024 GB) or petabytes (1024 terabytes). Usually starting at hundreds of terabytes going up to tens of petabytes.
  • IOPS (input/output operations per second): Vendors may offer anywhere from 400k IOPS to millions of IOPS. The right solution will depend on your required input/output rate.
  • GB/second: This gives you the speed rate of the AFA. The more GB per second, the faster the operations.
  • Latency: How long it takes for the system to receive a single data request, find it, and access it. In a flash drive, latency often includes the time required to navigate through network connectivity.

Additionally, when choosing an All-Flash Array solution, consider the following factors:

What is the AFA throughput?

One of the key characteristics of flash memory is the capability to handle a large number of input/output operations per second. However, looking at the throughput - the number of data bits read/written per second - can give you a better idea of the AFA capabilities. Discovering how much throughput your workloads need can guide you on the type of flash memory you require.

What is the read/write ratio?

Similarly, since a flash drive can accept only a set number of write cycles, you need to know the read/write ratio your workloads require. Remember that as a solid-state drive, flash memory cells need to be erased before writing them over.

Does it handle different block sizes?

The vendor may claim a high IOPS (input/output operations per second) rate, but if the rate is based on a smaller block size than the ones your workload needs, it may give you a mistaken idea of the AFA capability. Look instead at the block sizes your workload requires so you can have an accurate idea of the AFA performance.

Do the features slow performance?

Vendors may offer many additional features to provide a more complete solution. However, some of the features, such as data compression capabilities, may actually slow performance. Look at the full list of features and how they work before committing.

Benefits of All-Flash Arrays

The benefits of all-flash storage arrays (AFA) for today’s companies include:

  • Higher speed: The key feature of flash arrays is not what they have, but what they lack. Flash memory has no moving parts, thus it can work faster and provide high IOPS (input/output per second). One of the main benefits of AFAs is the high read/write speed. For users, it means that accessing, moving, and sharing data is simpler and quicker.
  • Lower costs: The popularity of all-flash arrays is becoming increasingly competitive compared with other storage solutions. While the cost/GB for HDDs (hard disk drives) has stayed constant since the 2010s, the price/GB of SSDs (solid-state disks) - including AFAs - has dropped significantly since the early 2000s.
  • Stronger Analytics: If you have faster access to data and increased read/write capabilities, you can handle real-time data analytics of the growing datasets every digital company has today. Since the amount of data that businesses need to process is growing exponentially, a faster storage solution is an advantage.
  • Easier scalability: In today’s digital transformation era, with companies moving data and workloads to and from the cloud, having a storage solution that supports hybrid models is key. All-flash arrays are faster, more resilient, rewritable, and non-volatile, which makes them suitable for organizations needing to scale up or down quickly.
Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: July 2022.
622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.