Top 8 All-Flash Storage Arrays

Dell PowerStorePure Storage FlashArrayDell Unity XTNetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)HPE Nimble StorageDell PowerMax NVMeIBM FlashSystemHPE 3PAR StoreServ
  1. leader badge
    Migrations are very easy and fast.The most valuable feature of Dell PowerStore is the all-NVMe flash storage. This is the most powerful feature of this series. It supports compression and duplication leads.
  2. leader badge
    We find the ease of usability and setup valuable.The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are management and administration user-friendliness, provisioning, and performance.
  3. Buyer's Guide
    All-Flash Storage Arrays
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Technologies, Pure Storage, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: November 2022.
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  4. leader badge
    The solution allows for easy, useful replication with good features for VPLEX and VIVO. The most valuable feature is that the solution is a hybrid system, so you can do both block and file storage.
  5. leader badge
    Snapshots, snap clones, backups, flexibility, and agility are valuable features. I like that NetApp AFF is easy to use. We can automate everything for our backups and use cases. It's fast and simple, and provides storage to all of our VMware ESX hosts. It expands easily as well.
  6. leader badge
    They have really thought through their solution. They've covered everything.The capacity for data storage and compression is good.
  7. leader badge
    We are most interested in cloud utilization.The uptime is the most valuable feature.
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    656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  9. leader badge
    The technical support for this solution is good. They used to help us when the motherboard of Power Systems broke. Their response times are really fast.
  10. leader badge
    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.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top All-Flash Storage Arrays questions. 656,862 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?

Rafal Zawadzki - PeerSpot reviewer
Rafal ZawadzkiVDI 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
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

All-Flash Storage Arrays Articles

Ariel Lindenfeld - PeerSpot reviewer
Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
PeerSpot
Aug 21 2022
We’re launching an annual User’s Choice Award to showcase the most popular B2B enterprise technology products and we want your vote! If there’s a technology solution that’s really impressed you, here’s an opportunity to recognize that. It’s easy: go to the PeerSpot voting site, complete the brie...
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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
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Technologies, Pure Storage, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: November 2022.
656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.