What are the advantages of all-flash storage over other types of storage?

Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
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10 Answers

Jan 24, 2023

The concept of 'all flash storage' is really just marketeering malarky.

The truth is that ALL external storage that is sold as "all-flash" is perfectly capable of incorporating non-flash storage as well because the interfaces are all standards-based.

So what are the 'advantages' of 'all-flash'?  There are no advantages, only DISADVANTAGES. The vast majority of data that lives on a typical enterprise SAN does not need the high 'IO Densities' (IOs per second per TByte) that Flash provides. In many cases, Big Data, Digital Media, and other BLOBs and Objects can be FAR better stored on modern spinning disks, with performance-per-dollar-at-scale that is still 10-50x better than Flash SSD. In fact, the ingest-heavy IO workload that is typically associated with "Big Data" is actually TOXIC for Flash storage, which (unlike disks) has the unfortunate tendency of wearing out in write-intensive workloads.

If you encounter a Storage Vendor that tells you that 'All-Flash' is somehow an intrinsic benefit compared to other systems that can also take advantage of spinning disks (and yes, even TAPE), show them the door.  Any time you spend with them will be wasted.  

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Real User
Nov 23, 2020

It has better performance than Hybrid storage and customers can have more IOPS,
for the mission critical application customers better use all-flash arrayas

Real User
Feb 8, 2021

It all depends on the budget as well.

If required High IOPs for Database or read/write intensive services (and also budget is not an issue) then go for All Flash...

Otherwise, combining SSD with NL-SAS alongwith tiering / cache features will suffice purpose in most conditions...

Mir Gulzar Ahmed - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Dec 28, 2020

The selection of All-Flash Storage Solutions depends on requirements and the goal any customer is looking to achieve at the end.

All-Flash is not a fit for all requirements......

"If a customer needs a storage solution with high to extreme performance,
efficient, power and cooling efficient (environmentally friendly),
build-in compression; then they should choose All-Flash solutions."

It is not all about the performance that storage manufacturers are very aggressive to sell their All-Flash boxes.

Just think about SAS disks..... those were used as performance and SATA as capacity.

Enterprise SAS disk technology is limited to 1.8TB/disk only; that is why storage manufacturers are promoting their All-Flash to fill the capacity gap created because of SAS disks technology limitations.

The modern Flash disks are covering both requirements (Capacity+Performance) but are still expensive (if we assume the same RAW capacity).

If a customer comes with the requirements that fits to an Enterprise Hybrid Storage solution like 40%SSD, 30%SAS and 30%SATA; 400TB RAW in total, then they should select All-Flash instead, as both solutions will not have any significant cost differences.

If a customer's requirements (Performance+Capacity+Cost-effective) fits to SAS then they should choose a SAS based storage solution.

If a customer needs an archival storage then they should choose SATA based solutions.

If a customer needs a storage solution with high to extreme performance, Rack-space, power and cooling efficient (environmentally friendly), build-in compression, then they should choose All-Flash solutions.

If customer needs less SSDs/Flash disks; like.... 10%SSD+45%SAS+45%SATA, then Hybrid type of storage solutions will be a good and cost-effective option.

Real User
Top 20
Aug 20, 2020

Speed (IOPs), increased reliability, compactness.

If your application does not needs those you can go with legacy solutions as far as price justifies.

Sooner or later even price will be in favour of all-flash

Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager
Sep 23, 2020

@Krishnamohan Velpuri Thanks for your input :)

PeerSpot user
Real User
Aug 17, 2020

In general, all-flash arrays have much better price/performance (in case if turning on DECO is not slowing down the array - some vendors have this issue, so PoC is needed) than hdd-only or hybrid arrays. Higher performance, lower power consumption per TB. The support cost for the HDD-only and hybrid arrays will be more an more expensive, as the HDDs share is going lower, and the main R&D is moved to all-flash arrays. Of course, in some cases (i.e. video surveillance, D2D and maybe several others), HDD-only arrays are the better option, so it's better to make a decision case-by-case.

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Mir Gulzar Ahmed - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Sep 13, 2021

The best benefit what I think is the step towards "Green-IT", as All-Flash has less weight, consumes low power, needs less conditioning/cooling and you can get more performance in a small foot-print (saves rack space).

It's still on the expensive side (referring to SAS-based storage solutions) in terms of /GB cost but All-flash storage or high-performance storage solutions help to reduce Servers' computing cost or increase Systems' overall performance and efficiency.

In most of the cases/solutions, you can safely reduce CPU core count requirements as low to 50%  at computing/server-side if you had selected All-Flash at the data-storage side, so you can make it cost-effective.

Sep 23, 2020

All-flash arrays are more costlier than any other storage arrays.
Will give more performance with less latency when compared to any other arrays

Sep 24, 2020

@Rony_Sklar Of course, its costly. If performance required.
More money = more performance  as of now. May be in future we may get for less price.
It depends, if customer can bare and if they defiantly need less latency for there applications.

PeerSpot user
Real User
Sep 9, 2021

Today's heavy workload demands significant performance from storage and to fulfill the requirement all-flash storage is the best fit. 

Also, the user gets the benefit in terms of capacity enhancement from compression, deduplication without comprising on performance.

Real User
Apr 30, 2021

All flash disks are now democratized. They are no longer very expensive. For a huge production they are better in every way. Better perf, better reliability. In the past we use to change mecanic disk every day, now we are surprised when we ask support to change one. Of course the choice depend of the goal but if we could only have flash storage it would be perfect :) 

All-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.
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