Mike Nalls

Beware: All-Flash Solutions Are Not the Same

Blog Post created by Mike Nalls Employee on Sep 6, 2016

As we move through this age of digital transformation together, planning the strategy for data is central. Modernizing an IT infrastructure includes a hard look at storage technologies. Hu Yoshida has frequently discussed the digital business strategy, tipping point for flash, and the infrastructure advantages. Selecting the right flash storage for your business can yield significant improvements. Or not.


Look out for the gotchas



In the storage market today, all-flash arrays appear to cure all ills. They are faster, and who doesn’t like fast? If every one of them is faster than disk, then it shouldn’t matter as long as performance increases. However, the business may have needs beyond speed. And IT may find that performance is not the primary solution to every application modernization effort.


Magyar Telekom is Hungary’s largest telecom company. With the meteoric rise of smartphones and social media in recent years, the way people communicate is changing rapidly. The company needed to make its own digital transformation in order to meet mobile user expectations. Key customer-facing applications and back-end systems needed to keep up with demand while avoiding unplanned downtime and disruption to services.


Focus on what really matters



In our example, Magyar Telekom’s business priorities had to be met while providing consistent performance, guarantee data availability and increased efficiency. Sounds pretty standard, right? Maybe so, until you consider the requirements to meet those priorities.


Providing consistent performance should be pretty easy as flash is faster than disk. Consider the reality of an ever growing, always-on, multi-application environment. Magyar Telekom had both customer facing applications and back-office applications to consider. Consolidation made perfect sense from the business perspective. Not every all-flash array can meet the needs of multiple applications, many are deployed on single applications which is unnecessarily expensive and complex.


“Since migrating the ERP and core billing systems to the HDS solution, around 300-400 business users have benefitted from greatly improved performance levels, enabling them to work more efficiently and productively.”


Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F series all-flash storage systems are designed for consistent performance as workloads scale. Many all-flash storage systems start out fast, but slow down as workloads increase.


“With Hitachi Accelerated Flash functionality for Hitachi storage, performance is six times faster than on our previous systems. This means that we can keep performance levels high, where, in the past, huge data volumes threatened to slow down systems.”


Guaranteeing data availability matters to the success of an organization. VSP F series are offered with the industry’s only 100% data availability guarantee. HDS guarantees access to information to ensure that your company meets its information availability requirements. No other all-flash storage system is engineered for this level of reliability. Backed by 20 years of experience and more than 4,000 industry-leading storage patents, Hitachi storage systems are engineered to have no single points of failure and multiple levels of redundancy.


Increasing efficiency is central for transformation to a modern digital infrastructure. Many buyers of all-flash arrays are not seeing the benefits they hoped for as performance and/or data reduction does not live up to the hype. That’s because general-purpose flash storage systems are not designed to handle data reduction and larger I/O tasks concurrently.


VSP F series with advanced flash modules deliver inline, hardware-accelerated compression, so you can answer business demands for high performance, ensure predictable sub-millisecond response times and deliver the lowest effective cost. Hitachi Data Systems guarantees that you’ll get at least a 2x increase in flash capacity when you use our data reduction technologies.


Take a look under the hood

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Not that flash storage is anything like your car, but it pays to consider the way your vendor has designed their product. Open source software running on off the shelf servers with commodity solid state drives are not the answer for an always-on, high growth enterprise. IT organizations have been forced to make tradeoffs in performance and efficiency to reach the cost points that their shrinking budgets can accommodate.


Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) with Hitachi Accelerated Flash fundamentally changes this paradigm. Together, they eliminate those tradeoffs and answer demands for high performance, efficient capacity management and enterprise reliability. The result is a flash-aware operating system that produces significantly improved I/O processing, higher multithreading support and faster internal data movement.


Take the next step


Learn how to select the right all-flash solutions for your IT environment. Ask these five questions when you review a new all-flash solution for a software-defined infrastructure.

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