What is Flash Storage? Flash storage is a data storage technology that delivers high-speed, programmable memory. It is called flash storage because of the speed at which it writes data and performs input/output (I/O) operations. This type of storage uses non-volatile memory, called flash memory. Non-volatile means that it keeps the data in storage without relying on a power connection. If the disk is turned off, you don’t lose your data.
You may recognize the concept of flash storage from the all-common USB sticks. They use memory cells to store data. If you want to write over a cell, you need to erase it before storing more data. In addition to the popular USBs, this storage technology is also used on enterprise all-flash 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.
PeerSpot 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. PeerSpot 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.