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The Facts about Flash.

Published by: Yianni Polyviou Published date: 14 Apr 2016 Categories: HP, storage

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FLASH! It’s the hot topic of the hour. Except… it’s not actually that new (and definitely doesn’t run hot). Flash storage media or Solid State Drives (SSDs) have been around for many years, yet why all the hype? Why is every IT specialist so excited about Flash storage, calling it the “next big thing”?

Sure, it’s fast, but is that all? And if so, is that a good enough reason to make everyone want to refresh their storage infrastructure? 

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Let’s first take a look at an interesting fact. We know that flash has been around for a while, but market adoption spiking to $11bn, yes billion, in 2014 highlighted its significance in the marketplace. Now, there are a number of things that can drive the adoption of a new technology.

Let’s start with cost.

Back when tablets were first launched they attracted a premium that widely outweighed their usefulness at the time. Fast track to 2015 and you can buy a better performing tablet PC for a fraction of the cost. This makes them more accessible to the masses rather than the tech-savvy elites. There is a similar story for Enterprise-Class Flash storage. As technology improves, we find ways to do more with less, become more efficient. This has a direct effect on cost, more specifically in this case the cost per GB (€/GB).

When we can get the cost of a GB of flash storage to the same level, if not cheaper, than that of spinning disk… ($1.50/GB) then it really becomes a no brainer. Enterprise-class functionality and performance is no longer restricted to enterprises who can afford it in small doses, but accessible to every business and more importantly every application. Why accelerate only one application when you can accelerate your entire business!

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That brings me to my next point. Accelerating your business, and I don’t mean just the primary storage. Rather than focus on the technology itself, it’s important to recognise the business outcomes that the technology can enable as a facilitator. This is where we see real value. Let’s take a limited resource that can really affect a business. Time.

Time is not something we can buy more of or buy back when we lose it. So our only solution is productivity. A productive company or workforce is more likely to meet its desired targets within given deadlines than one that is not. To make a workforce more productive we rely on things like mobility and collaboration. To achieve this, IT departments can provide employees with mobile devices and create specific applications that tie in with their businesses operations (for example, loading a purchase order into SalesForce while waiting for a train). However, this in turn creates more data and transactions that IT needs to store, process and manage while at the same having security as a priority.

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So today’s style of business has to deal with larger more diverse markets, limited budgets and an explosion of information (also known as Big Data).  This is where Hybrid-Cloud environments and Big Data Analytics come into play to enable productivity. But in order to work to the scale and performance that’s required we need an enterprise-class Flash array like the HP 3PAR StoreServ 8450 to power these solutions. These days, who has time to wait 30 seconds for an application or even an email to load?

Businesses also need to be able to find the needles in a Big Data haystack that they can monetise instantly and not in 2 weeks’ time. The world is moving faster! Business require a solution that can keep up, to help them react and remain competitive in the market in which they operate. This evolution of business puts pressure on outdated legacy storage running primarily on spinning disk that will eventually suffer latencies, lags and potentially, crash. This is why the right IT is essential to enable the New Style of Business. Businesses need a solution that can keep up with today’s needs and tomorrow’s growth. This is why Flash is being widely adopted. A now affordable technology that can allow businesses to grow without limits.

So now that we know that Flash is a key enabler to the New Style of Business, it’s worth noting that not all flash arrays are created equal. Flash is everywhere and many new start-ups have appeared on the scene to take advantage of this change. What buyers need to remember is that it’s not just about flash, but the technology that powers it. This is where HP StoreServ 3PAR really differentiates.

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HP StoreServ 3PAR has been developed to be a leading storage array from the bottom up, with the ability and feature-set to scale from the smallest SMB to the global enterprise. Now we’ve engineered it with Flash to make it even better. After all, there’s a reason why 3PAR technology has won a myriad of awards!

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So remember, Flash can enable the New Style of Business to improve productivity, user experience and help you achieve your goals. Just make sure you are choosing the right technology that sits behind it.

Please also check out two great blogs by @HPStorageGuy Calvin Zito (YouTube videos included!)

And here's a great resource to know what to look for in your next Flash Storage Array.

Video: Breaking Boundaries with Flash Storage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjn4CERg8Rg  

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