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Getting the most out of flash storage

Mohit Bhatnagar, senior director, flash product strategy, NetApp | May 9, 2013
As powerful and beneficial as flash storage can be, many organizations are overspending on capacity they don't need, deploying flash in the wrong places, and inefficiently spending on flash applications that are not appropriate for their real business objectives.

Flash can provide the read/write performance needed to quickly move data in and out of cache, but knowing which data to move is a function of intelligent data management software. While adding more physical storage to address rising amounts of data is a solution, it's expensive. Instead, businesses should consider alternative software-based approaches to managing data loads such as in-line data duplication and compression to maximize storage capacity, and they should confirm in advance that technologies such as these are compatible with their flash strategy.

As with any emerging technology, the use of flash has raised many questions. Is it really cost-effective? How will the workloads and applications running on a specific network best benefit from flash? Can flash be implemented without network outages or performance degradations? How will the use of flash change as capacity and performance demands grow?

The organizations that make asking  -- and answering -- these questions a critical component in their transition to flash-based networks are the ones that will experience flash's greatest benefits at the lowest possible costs. Without a doubt, those benefits can be very great indeed. But like any other technology, flash is a tool. No matter how powerful it is, it is only as effective as the hands and minds that wield it.


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