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3 Tips for Evaluating Flash Storage Solutions

As a mature, reliable data-storage solution, you understand that flash is increasingly considered to be the new standard. But with the overwhelming number of hybrid flash and all-flash storage options out there, it’s not easy to decide which solution will offer the best fit for your company’s requirements, while also providing you with the strongest competitive advantage. We’ve compiled 3 tips to help you evaluate flash storage solutions so you can make the best possible decision for your business. Consider which solution will: 

1. Drive Down Your Costs

If you’re thinking of investing in flash, cost is probably a major factor in your decision-making process. Keep the following factors in mind to get the most value from your next storage solution. 

Workload Scalability 

Don’t get a van when a compact car will do. If you have a less demanding workload, you’ll save money by choosing the flash storage product that’s the right size for your company’s needs. Look for a mature suite of solutions that lets you compare multiple products with different capabilities. 

Computing Resources 

End to end NVMe flash solutions actually cut back on overall IT expenses. With high speeds that eliminate storage-related infrastructure bottlenecks, flash lets you support larger workloads. 

Storage Installation Needs 

Flash storage requires less space to store the same amount of data. When you invest in flash you save money by cutting back on costs associated with additional space and management requirements. 

Efficient Solutions 

Flash modules use less power than hard drives. You can lower costs even further by paying close attention to power efficiency. Because flash modules use less power than hard drives, they have lower energy expenses. 

2. Prioritize your Performance

With most IT budgets staying fairly flat, you’ll need to maximize performance while maintaining low costs. Consider these performance technologies during your evaluation. 

Data Reduction 

To improve storage efficiency, look for a solution with data reduction technologies, like pattern removal, deduplication, and compression. Thin provisioning and space-efficient snapshots are additional functions that make the most of your storage capacity. Just watch out for compression solutions that include “recompression” as a value add. The first compression cycle should work well enough that a second one isn’t needed. 

Harness Existing Applications 

As you strive for better performance, you might consider replacing your applications or doing expensive and time-consuming optimizations just to seek out small improvements. But flash lets you boost performance while using your existing applications – no overhaul needed. 

Accelerated Performance 

Faster is always better for business. NVMe Flash storage greater speeds give companies the power to quickly mine deeper insights and respond to customers almost instantaneously – all while using fewer resources. And if you are looking for even faster response times, you can add Storage Class Memory to your storage. 

3. Work with Your Plan for the Future  

Your investment in flash needs to support your current and future performance demands. Make sure your solution has the capabilities to expand with your future needs and requirements. 

Hybrid Multicloud 

Hybrid multicloud solutions offer undeniable advantages, but they also come with a unique set of challenges. With public clouds, you may see increased system latency caused by data being delivered over long distances. The performance of private clouds can suffer due to complex system architectures. With top speeds and high performance levels, flash more than compensates for these shortcomings, helping you get the most from your hybrid multicloud computing solutions. 

Real-time Analytics 

When your competitors are making point-of-sale suggestions and analyzing transactions as they occur, you can’t afford to fall behind. So if you haven’t made the leap to real-time analytics, you’ll need to do it soon. Stay competitive in this market with a storage system like flash that pulls information from multiple sources in mere microseconds. 

Container Storage 

Flash storage is the enterprise container storage that helps you build and deploy enterprise class scale-out microservices applications to exceed your goals, delivering highest performance, data efficiency, protection, and agility your containers deserve. 

Speed of Innovation 

The world’s most successful businesses are constantly innovating. You already know timing is essential when you’re introducing new rollouts, and your IT infrastructure will either drag you down or propel you forward. Whether you’re modeling new concepts, connecting teams in different locations, or turning raw data into insights, flash storage accelerates your speed of implementation. 

Virtual Desktops 

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) helps you improve data security, lower costs, and give employees access to their files from any device. But to make this technology successful, you need strong system performance. Flash not only delivers high-performance standards and lowers the cost per desktop, it also handles the extreme spikes in data traffic that are common with VDI implementations.  

You may want to also consider these key questions when evaluating flash storage solutions: 

  • How will this solution perform as data volumes increase? 
  • Does this solution have a method for preventing shutdowns and slowdowns during background cleanup tasks? 
  • Does this solution deliver low latency and high performance? 
  • How is storage performance monitored? 
  • How do your data reduction technologies affect performance? 
  • Do you have consistent software to manage your solution? 

As your data volume continues to surge, you’ll face more challenges when it comes to storing, accessing, and harnessing all of it. Flash is your ideal solution for meeting growing performance demands while bringing speed, scalability, and savings to your business. IBM’s mature portfolio of flash solutions fits a range of budgets, workloads, and performance profiles. 

Reach out to us now to learn more about how Flash storage can help you manage your data storage needs. 

Source: “The smart buyer’s guide to flash.” IBM Systems, February 2020