Ramakrishnan Subramanian

Flash comes of age

Blog Post created by Ramakrishnan Subramanian Employee on May 17, 2016

Not so long ago a cell phone could cost upwards of US$2,000, putting them out of the reach of most users, except big companies and well-heeled individuals. Today however, cell phones are everywhere with smartphones being available for US$100 or less!


The growth in smartphones has had less to do with their improved functionality, and more to do with how much it costs to purchase one. It wasn’t until handsets hit that all important price/performance “sweet spot” that they started to have mass appeal.


The same thing is taking place in the world of data storage. Flash technology is hitting its ideal price/performance threshold just as traditional spinning disk storage technology is starting to look less attractive as the sheer overhead of keeping data on these drives starts to add up and response times get longer.


Flash used to be an expensive solution for addressing storage challenges, but as costs come down and reliability goes up, companies are increasingly moving to flash-based technologies to create faster, more responsive IT environments. And, they don’t have to use their entire IT budget to do so.

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Today it’s really about “Flash for All” – relevant to almost every application in any organization. What’s more, Flash is also a perfect way to leverage the full potential of data reduction services through compression and deduplication. That, in turn, delivers tremendous scalability while simultaneously lowering costs.


Hitachi Data Systems has been investing heavily in next-generation flash technologies for years, including architecting and programming our own flash modules which is validated by the fact that we hold the most number of flash-related patents than any other vendor – over 350 at last count. These kinds of initiatives certainly help when it comes to meeting customer demands for high performance solutions that deliver predictable sub-millisecond response times while being cost effective.


The “Flash for All” ethos was evident in the additional two offerings introduced in November - the all-flash virtual storage platform VSP F and the Hitachi Flash Storage HFS A, which really does offer something for everyone. The VSP F with next-generation purpose-built flash modules provides inline data compression without compromising on performance and response times, while providing greater effective capacity.

The HFS A includes a full suite of user-selectable data services that enables the right levels of capacity efficiency, data protection and predictable performance for a variety of workloads. Advanced features and selectable data services include inline data deduplication and compression, quality of service, thin provisioning, snapshots, replication and data encryption. What does that mean?  Customers now have the flexibility to turn on or turn off features including inline data deduplication, compression and set QoS based on application requirements to achieve optimal performance and space efficiency.


Flash is no longer a special or exotic technology for companies to implement on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, it is fast becoming the first choice for a host of applications, as the price barrier is lowered. If one thing is clear about the IT landscape in 2016, it’s that Flash has come of age.