Changing the Economics of Enterprise Storage
How Dell makes enterprise flash storage affordable
Cost has been one of the key factors limiting more widespread use of flash storage in enterprise computing environments. However, for many use cases where the speed of flash can make a critical difference in application performance, cost is becoming less of an issue as a result of these important developments:
- The cost of flash is coming down in general due to economies of scale through increased usage. Organizations also benefit from technological advances in design that enable the use of lower-cost multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash in enterprise environments without sacrificing reliability.
- Advances in storage architecture and software by Dell are driving the cost of flash down even further. Dell is now capable of delivering flash solutions at the price of traditional hard disk drive (HDD) storage for tier-one applications, radically changing the economics of storage.
- Enterprises are increasingly recognizing that they must use flash to support certain applications and workloads, such as the online transaction processing systems behind e-commerce and large websites, where HDD performance limitations are the biggest bottleneck in the infrastructure. Rather than looking at flash through the traditional prism of cost per gigabyte, savvy IT professionals are focusing not on capacity but on performance, and defining their solutions on a cost-per-IOPS metric.
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Flash-optimized solutions from Dell are enabling breakthrough cost advantages through the use of lower-cost MLC solid-state drives (SSD), as well as improvements in Dell’s advanced tiering software. Using higher capacity, read-intensive MLC SSDs in combination with software enhancements, Dell solutions can now tier flash across read-intensive MLC drives as well as high-endurance, high-performance, write-intensive, single-level cell (SLC) SSDs.
When compared with SLC-only competitive flash solutions, an all-flash Dell array with a blend of SLC and MLC SSDs delivers up to an approximate two times price advantage over competitive hybrid solutions and up to an approximate five times price advantage over competitive all-flash solutions.
By making flash more affordable, Dell’s solutions can have a significant positive impact on the organization in other ways as well, helping IT and business decision-makers build a more effective business case for the use of flash in the enterprise. Critical benefits include:
- More effective and efficient storage. By using flash in a tiered storage architecture along with traditional HDDs, organizations can optimize their storage infrastructures and extend the lifecycle of legacy storage. Storing the right data, with the right performance, at the right time and in the right place delivers many advantages: It extends the endurance of flash by limiting the number of writes, and it extends the usage of legacy storage by using HDDs for capacity-based workloads as opposed to performance-based workloads.
- More productive business. Using all-flash solutions for certain performance-critical applications enables a faster infrastructure, which can improve worker productivity and deliver more overall value to the organization. Uptime is increased, the number of transactions completed is increased, and potentially costly gaps in responsiveness to customers are eliminated.
- More opportunities for innovation. By taking advantage of Dell’s lower-cost flash solutions to deliver greater performance to the organization, IT departments can target specific workloads and business opportunities they may not have considered previously. For example, flash storage can be a big boost to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments because it addresses the problem of delivering maximum performance during boot storms. With a Dell storage architecture, the organization doesn’t have to purchase an all-flash solution just to handle those boot storms—it can simply use the performance benefits of flash when needed. This makes VDI much more affordable and practical for any enterprise.
By changing the economics of flash storage for the enterprise, Dell provides IT professionals with the opportunity to change the economics of their entire infrastructure. If you’ve been waiting to explore the use of flash because of the costs, there’s no longer any excuse to wait. The flash bandwagon is quickly gathering momentum, and you don’t want to be left behind.
IT managers need high I/O performance and low latency, as well as capacity-optimized storage. Learn why flash storage might be the answer.
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