Flash disk for enterprise storage.
HP has finally come ‘round. (See the Storage Anarchist) IBM struggles. EMC Customers love 'em.
An EMC press release today announced new 200GB and 400GB Flash drives. Flash is one of those rare technologies that delivers multiple simultaneous positive – even extraordinary benefits.
EMC was first to introduce Flash – Tier 0 - in enterprise storage about a year ago. Started with 73GB and later added 150GB capacity.
Taking others in the storage industry by surprise – they didn’t have it so it couldn’t be worthwhile - it took awhile for the general idea to sink in that his was a tectonic shift.
Some still don’t get it. (Storage Anarchist again.)
Big objection early on was about price - about 40x a spinning disk at introduction but now only about 8x. I say “only” because the way to think of it isn’t as a 1-1 replacement. Since one Flash disk provides the performance of as many as 30 spinners, customers have come to realize they are both cost effective and very good for business.
Database performance, for example, has long been constrained by hard disk I/O capability. It’s mechanical, so latency is built in.
Not with Flash drives. No moving parts. Practically no latency delay. That dramatically improves performance to about 30X the IOPS of spinning disks.
SIA-SSB, an EMEA based financial services company, provides one example from the EMC press release:
“SIA-SSB processes 6.4 billion transactions annually related to credit cards, collections and payments,” said Fabio Grignani, Chief Information Officer and Deputy General Manager at SIA-SSB. “We meet extremely demanding levels of service for our customers throughout Europe and are constantly trying to improve the efficiency of our systems and processes in order to be more competitive. Flash drive technology, as part of an overall EMC Payments Solution, was able to help improve application performance from 6,000 to 16,000 I/Os per second and reduce average response times by more than 60 percent, while monthly batch processing times improved significantly from 22 to 17 hours.”
So, great performance and business benefits. Well worth the price.
But there’s more. They help save energy too.
One Flash disk uses about 38% less energy than a spinning drive. Take out 20 or 30 spinning drives, otherwise needed to equal the performance, and do it dozens, soon hundreds of times.
You get the idea.
So, it may take a bit longer to catch on with some vendors. But EMC customers are getting it and fast.