Flash and the Data-Driven Enterprise

How New Storage Technologies Can Move Your Data

Kurt Hildebrand

Imagine your enterprise’s data as a mountain of information. Sitting there by itself, it does you no good. Data’s value comes from your ability to extract actionable information that benefits the enterprise.

It could be a customer’s browsing history. It could be an analysis of current network bottlenecks or potential vulnerabilities. It could be a breakdown of delivery routes that save the most money in shipping costs. All of this information allows enterprises to make decisions – about what special deals to offer a customer, about how to reroute network traffic, about how to reduce operating expenses.

The challenge lies in harnessing this ever-growing mountain of data. Thanks to a new wave of mobile devices and apps, point-of-sale data capture, online transactions, social media, geolocation services, the Internet of Things, and other sources of digital content, your enterprise’s data grows exponentially every year.

And – perhaps perversely – not only is your enterprise’s data mountain larger than ever, much of the data stored within must be accessed and analyzed faster than ever. This imperative to conduct real-time (synchronous) data analysis is acute among enterprises in the retail, ecommerce, and financial sectors, where instant action can result in a successful sale or trade.

Modern data-driven enterprises need an intelligent storage infrastructure that enables the ability to analyze large volumes of data as required by the business. One emerging solution is flash storage, or solid state drives (SSD), a high-performance storage medium that houses data on a microchip.

Because flash technology doesn’t rely on moving parts – unlike spinning hard-drive disks (HDD) – it allows for data access at a much faster rate than HDD. When used in conjunction with distributed storage architecture, flash can help enterprises achieve both synchronous data access and data analysis in real- or near-real time.

Flash storage also can be used in conjunction with HDD in a hybrid array. In this storage model, enterprises leverage the low-cost capacity of hard disks by storing and analyzing data asynchronously in cases where latency isn’t an issue, reserving flash space for data that is accessed frequently or require real-time analysis.

In the digital/mobile/cloud economy of today and tomorrow, the speed with which big data can be collected and analyzed could spell the difference between success and failure. Flash technology offers enterprises the highest performance storage solution, while also requiring less power and space in the data center. No other current storage medium gives enterprises as much agility, flexibility or scalability.

Justifying a storage refresh? Get SMART! Learn how next generation technologies can create a cost effective model with unrivaled flexibility. Get S.M.A.R.T. today.