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Opportunity knocks for SSD

Article Type: Technology Focus          Published: 07-2014         Views: 2033   



John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk, argues that Cloud and Hyperscale environments offer a variety of applications that are highly suitable for SSD technologies

Everyone in IT knows that big data is a force to be reckoned with. The market is exploding with massive quantities of structured and unstructured data, which must be collected, sorted and stored safely. Trying to process all this data in real time, so it adds value to the organisation, is like drinking from a fire hose. Then there's the challenge of mastering the complex tools and technologies used to collect and analyse big data and turn it into workable information and reports. Getting a handle on it all requires efficient storage systems-and that means solid state storage technology.

Compared with traditional hard-disk drives (HDDs), solid state storage systems greatly alleviate I/O bottlenecks and latency. Driven by non-volatile memory technology, advanced solid state drives (SSDs) can deliver faster response times and greater capacity without sacrificing reliability or accuracy.

Across an array of application workloads, solid state storage (or a hybrid solution) provides the efficiency and uptime that businesses need to:
• Ensure that service level agreements (SLAs) are met for Tier-1 business-critical applications and increase application performance across the board.
• Scale applications up and out without compromising end-user response times - while using less hardware, power, cooling and data centre space.
• Improve response time and throughput by caching the "hot," most frequently requested data.

Businesses that deliver Cloud and Hyperscale solutions are particularly reliant on efficiency and performance in their data centres. When your bottom line depends on dynamic information provided in real time, a split-second delay can be very costly. As more and more business functions move into virtualised environments or cloud-delivery platforms, any bottleneck in storage becomes a mission-critical concern.

When performance and microseconds count, the I/O improvements of solid state storage technology are especially valuable.

The following real-world examples illustrate how solid state storage technology solves key customer challenges across Cloud and Hyperscale data centre environments.

1. Web Databases/Business Intelligence (BI)
Businesses are turning to cloud services for access to data and analytics that help them make smarter business decisions. Because users don't want to wait for anything, solid state storage technology can improve their experience by accelerating web application response times. It allows BI SaaS companies to deliver complex, real-time analytics and data visualisations without slowing page load time. Best of all, it allows SaaS providers to scale to meet demand quickly and cost-effectively without sacrificing performance.

2. Data Mining and Analytics
Like SaaS providers, online data-mining services need to be responsive. Solid state storage technology helps increase application performance so providers can process more jobs and more complex queries in less time. I/O-intensive log files and frequently accessed tables can bog down an analytics engine. But PCIe-based flash storage puts that data closer to the processor, ensuring a fast response time. It also allows for complex queries at massive scale, while remaining cost-effective and easy to install.

3. Social Media
Social media creates a growing data challenge because of the vast amount of unstructured and structured data sets. Social media sites have to provide access to videos, photos, audio files, status updates, tweets and other online transactions that people want, quickly and accurately. Solid state storage technology provides the low latency, scalable, high-performance storage platform that allows social media companies to deliver the experience their users demand. At the same time, it reduces infrastructure capital expenditures (Capex)-including hardware, data centre footprint, and power and cooling-while shrinking operational expenses (Opex) year after year.

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