Introduction

If you’re searching for the right data-storage method for your company, you’re probably overwhelmed by the number of disk-based and flash storage options out there. So how can you figure out which solution gives you a strong competitive advantage and offers the best fit for your company’s requirements?

This guide lays out key information and answers common questions about flash storage, so you can make the best possible decision for your business.

Pictogram of a blue man considering speed vs. cost, which is shown through an icon of speedometer being outweighed by an icon of a calculator on a scale.
What do you think?

Flash doesn’t fit our current budget.

84% of respondents agree

16% of respondents disagree

Agree

Agree

Many people are surprised to learn that flash is more affordable than ever. Today’s flash solutions are built for different workloads and capacities, so you can choose the option that’s right for your budget. And because flash is so powerful and efficient, you’ll actually cut back on many of your IT expenses.

Disagree

Disagree

Today’s flash solutions are built for different workloads and capacities, so you can choose the option that’s right for your business needs and your budget. And because flash increases speed and efficiency, you’ll actually cut back on many of your IT expenses.

Drive down costs

If you’re thinking of investing in flash, cost is probably a major factor in your decision-making process. And with most IT budgets staying fairly flat, you’ll need to maximize performance while maintaining low costs. Keep the following factors in mind to get the most value from your next storage solution.

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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 let you compare multiple products with different capacities.

 
 
 
 

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Computing resources

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

 

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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.

 

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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 HVAC expenses.

 

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What do you think?

We need to replace our current applications to improve performance.

50% of respondents agree

50% of respondents disagree

Agree

Agree

Replacing or optimizing your applications can improve performance, but it’s not the only way to get better results. Flash gives your existing applications a major performance boost.

Disagree

Disagree

With flash, you’ll get better performance without having to optimize or overhaul your current applications.

Prioritize performance

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Accelerated performance

Faster is always better for business. Flash’s greater speeds give companies the power to quickly mine deeper insights and respond to customers almost instantaneously—all while using fewer resources.

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Harnessing 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.

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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.

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Maturity

Far from being the new kid on the block, flash now has capabilities and data services that match and often surpass those of disk-based offerings. As a mature, reliable storage solution, flash is increasingly considered to be the new standard.

 

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What do you think?

We can save money and resources if we wait to implement real-time analytics.

75% of respondents agree

25% of respondents disagree

Agree

Agree

The time for real-time analytics is now, and you’re at risk of falling behind if you wait. Keep reading to find out how using real-time analytics along with flash will make you more competitive.

Disagree

Disagree

The time is now for real-time analytics. So whether you’ve already made the switch or you’re planning to do it soon, you’re on the right track. Keep reading to find out how flash makes real-time analytics even more powerful.

Plan for the future

Real-time analytics

When your competitors are making point-of-sale suggestions and analyzing millions of 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.

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.

Cloud

Cloud 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 cloud computing solutions.

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What do you think?

We can’t use flash because we already have an in-memory database solution.

80% of respondents agree

20% of respondents disagree

Agree

Agree

Flash is a valuable addition whether you’re in the process of implementing an in-memory database solution or the solution is already in place.

Disagree

Disagree

Flash is a valuable addition, whether you’re in the process of implementing an in-memory database solution or the solution is already in place.

Consider other solutions

In-memory databases

Many users choose flash over in-memory database solutions because flash is generally more affordable, more scalable and capable of performing without an application redesign. But if you’ve already invested in an in-memory database solution and you’re going through the long process of getting it up and running, flash makes a great stop-gap. Even after going live with an in-memory database such as SAP HANA, you can still use flash storage to accelerate writes and system restarts.

Hybrid storage

Hybrid storage is a mix of storage media—including flash storage technology—that lets you tailor a solution to your business needs. If budget constraints are top of mind, hybrid systems can be a strong choice for delivering high performance and excellent value in a single package.

Take the next steps

Questions for your vendor

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.

Resources

Learn more about flash

Find out more about flash and which solution is right for you.

Get in touch

Contact an IBM representative.

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