CIOs and CTOs have been mandated to deliver value to their business at a lower cost as CEO’s are demanding more business impact from IT. Their main role now is to create seamless business flow by bridging cloud offerings and on-premise infrastructure to optimize their organization’s operations. Also, with organizations being encouraged to reduce their system footprint for a given performance level, product lines that address small, mid-market and large enterprises are going to see increased competition in the coming years. Flash is fast becoming the answer to delivering speed, value and efficiency at optimal cost while giving business a competitive edge.
Less than a decade ago, Flash storage was seen as an option to boost hard drive performance. Now, CIOs and CTOs are using Flash memory at enterprise level to reduce latency and increase IO, at roughly the same cost to the company as hard drive arrays in the past. Flash is now tasked with creating an optimal dollar to output value for storage. The right Flash solution, such as EMC’s XtremIO, brings businesses tremendous benefits such as:
- Maximum performance of the business with larger, more affordable storage pools
- Quicker response times
- Economized customization of business needs, depending on the size of the business.
Performance, Low Latencies and Affordability are all considerations for any business reliant on IT infrastructure. With the advent of new, improved Flash products, there’s a Flash solution to accommodate all these needs. All any CTO, CFO or CIO needs is a cost to performance analysis and that decision can mean a huge difference in annual revenues.
If the business is read-intensive, as we see in financial institutions and e-commerce businesses, a Server Flash option, like EMC’s XtremSW Cache can revolutionize performance and minimize the duration of transactions or searches, allowing end users an enhanced experience. Given that this Flash solution is located close to the server which processes the data, rather than at the other end of the storage network, it reduces latency and can even provide increased storage performance for other servers.
When speed and quality in performance both are equally crucial, there’s little that can beat an All-Flash array. Low latencies enhance productivity and modern Flash arrays can easily deliver 100,000 IOPS with latencies below 1ms. EMC’s XtremIO is a great example of an all-Flash solution. It creates near-ideal data distribution across all drives with only a 0.16% variation in the amount of data on each drive.
All-Flash is an ideal solution when deploying a VDI environment, with thousands of users. Case in point is Boston Scientific, a globally renowned medical device manufacturer with 24,000 employees in 40 countries. The company reported that what originally took 8 minutes to deploy a 40 GB desktop image, took only 17 seconds with XtremIO. Additionally, the whole array took just 30 minutes to set up and in under an hour the company was deploying desktops running at 42,000 IOPS. What’s more, performance speeds were maintained during patching operations and while rolling out new desktops.
But a hybrid array functions just as well in the VDI scenario. Commonly accessed files are cached on super-fast SSDs, deduplication savings are high, leading to reduced disk space usage. A hybrid solution also retains ample capacity, so that users can create persistent, customizable desktops.
FITTING FLASH INTO YOUR ARCHITECTURE
Scale out and scale up architecture has generated great debate regarding a company’s ideal storage needs and build capacity. While scale up is almost immediately attractive because it allows you to start small and ladder up the building blocks as needed, scale out storage is also attractive because it promises infinity. However, scale out storage doesn’t marry ideally with an All-Flash solution, which is too fast for current scale out architecture. Most CIOs say they have not much current requirement of the performance that scale out architecture offers, and the cost to performance analysis also makes them hesitate.
Scale up storage, while it can’t purchase upfront, all the performance capabilities, they can be increased incrementally, which is easier on the wallet, and requires a less complex backend infrastructure. Whether scale up or scale out, a CTO or CIO has to integrate the right Flash solution, to aggressively balance performance and cost for their company.
Additionally, with the Application Development Environment (ADE) making itself a permanent fixture on the IT landscape, one of the common afflictions is the high consumption of storage. So while CPU usage may be on the wane due to virtualization, storage is on the rise. XtremIO is once again, a perfect example of how an all-Flash solution allows for consolidation of a project’s copies of development and test environments, all using the same seed data into one storage locale. It enables scaling out multiple environments without scaling out too much storage.
Affordability and optimal business performance are no longer the mandate for just the CEO or CFO but many CIOs and CTOs also now share this responsibility. Flash is a high-performance, low-hunger tool that has turned enterprise storage on its head, spinning it into profit, and performance, through its reliability and longevity. From hyper-scale providers like Facebook, to enterprise spaces such as finance, trade and healthcare, as well as other performance-sensitive businesses, IT managers now have multifarious choices for their storage needs. The economics are simply unbeatable and the transition to an all-Flash environment is only a matter of time.