IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Three roadblocks stopping your customers from realising the benefits of flash storage

Mon 27 Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Paul Shaw, general manager, Storage, Hewlett Packard Enterprise South Pacific

It used to be that the major roadblock to flash storage adoption was cost – the price-point of flash made it cost prohibitive for all but the most mission-critical high-performance applications. Now with the cost of flash rivalling HDD and continuing to fall, those days are thankfully behind us.

As a result, I’m sure you’re noticing that more and more organisations are turning to flash to keep up with the accelerating demands of enterprise applications. In the process, they’re discovering that flash media changes the performance balance between servers, networks and storage, requiring them to re-think their data center environment.

While flash storage can enhance the performance of your customer’s applications, there are three potential roadblocks you will need to help your customers break down in order for them to realise the full value from their flash investment:

  1. Storage network capacity
  2. Storage architecture
  3. Resiliency

1.     Network capacity

Picture yourself on the freeway at 5:00 in the morning. Traffic is relatively light, and everyone is moving along at or close to the speed limit. Now add more cars as the morning commute kicks in, and things gradually slow down. Add more cars, and eventually you’re approaching gridlock. That’s what flash storage can do to a customer’s network.

Flash media is fast – up to hundreds of thousands of I/O operations per second (IOPS) at sub-millisecond latency. That’s orders of magnitude beyond the performance of spinning disk. But that ability to generate more read and write operations means more traffic for your customer’s storage network, moving data back and forth between storage and servers. And as network traffic piles up, latency increases. The end result is a traffic jam that slows down application performance.

For example, a common online transaction processing (OLTP) workload connected to flash storage can quickly saturate 8Gb/s fiber channel (FC) network components like host bus adapters (HBAs), network switches, and target adapters. Your customer’s storage network can become a bottleneck, preventing them from fully utilising their compute and storage resources.

To get the most from their flash investment, your customers may need to consider a network upgrade. In our OLTP example, upgrading from 8Gb/s FC to 16 Gb/s FC can increase bandwidth and IOPS by at least 35 per cent and improve storage latency by 2.5X or more[i]. That’s the equivalent of adding extra lanes to a freeway to support more traffic. A network upgrade provides the added benefit of requiring fewer components (switches, adapters, etc.) to achieve bandwidth and latency targets, resulting in lower costs.

2.     Storage architecture

It’s not just the network that can slow them down; the architecture of their flash array itself could prevent them from realising the full benefits of flash media.

Some vendors have entered the flash market by simply re-equipping existing disk storage arrays with flash media. On the surface that might sound like a good idea, but in reality it’s like dropping a finely tuned racing engine into the family minivan. Sure it will run faster, but the minivan has no hope of getting the full performance benefit from the horsepower the racing engine can generate because if you look end-to-end to all the elements that make up the performance, the engine only represents a fraction of the elements.

Similarly the characteristics of flash require re-thinking performance through the end-to-end I/O path, including server connectivity, switches, storage controllers and backend connectivity to the solid-state drive (SSD) media. Much like a racecar is optimised to get the full performance from its racing engine, a flash array and the supporting architecture should be optimised to support flash media.

Storage controllers and algorithms not designed specifically for the rigours of flash will not deliver the desired latency and I/O performance. Having sufficient bandwidth in their array is another consideration.

Typical dual-controller storage designs suffer from an inability to effective scale to keep up with flash performance as storage performance in flash arrays is a function of the controller performance.

3.     Resiliency

Some vendors have taken a different approach, designing flash optimised storage arrays from the ground up. While this can alleviate the bottlenecks associated with legacy storage architectures, it can pose another set of challenges. Often the redesign comes at the expense of the Tier-1 resiliency and data services that your customers rely on, which can be a little like driving that racecar without a helmet – everything is fine, until it’s not. Features like hardware and software redundancy, non-disruptive upgrades, transparent active-active failover, and remote synchronous/asynchronous replication are critical to their data center but are not yet always standard offerings with all-flash arrays.

Deploying one of these systems can also mean accepting another separate and distinct storage architecture into their data center, creating an additional storage silo and complicating your customer’s data protection strategy. To provide best value, flash storage arrays should integrate with the tools they already use, enabling hypervisor and application owners to control backup and recovery processes directly from their preferred system management consoles. To achieve true data protection, they will also need to go beyond snapshots to create fully independent backup volumes that can be restored at the volume-level in the event of disaster.

Flash storage changes the performance balance between servers, network and storage, requiring you to re-think your customer’s architecture. Helping them realise the full benefits from their flash investment requires a balance of the right storage, the right storage architecture, the right data services and features, and the right network solution.

Article by Paul Shaw, general manager, Storage, Hewlett Packard Enterprise South Pacific

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
SaaS
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Story image
Storage
Energy storage demand momentum continues, says BYD
BYD has announced an expansion of its production capacities and will deliver 250,000 units of its energy storage system, BYD Battery-Box Premium.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra investigates what makes an ideal hybrid work model
“The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Data
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Microsoft
Avaya expands Microsoft partnership to deliver OneCloud on Azure
The joint technology and go to market agreement will help customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in the cloud.
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Story image
Wireless
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital delivers 5G to the cinemas
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital say they've launched Australia's fastest and most secure delivery of content over 5G for cinemas.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ANU and Seeing Machines to use AI to improve driver safety
The Australian National University and Seeing Machines have won a grant to develop AI systems monitor human behaviour while driving.
Story image
Avaya
Avaya OneCloud sees 118% ARR growth for second quarter 2022
Avaya Holdings has reported $750 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) for its OneCloud offering, up 21% sequentially and 118% from the same period last year.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Three key security challenges facing the Australian insurance industry 
Insurance companies must ensure they proactively address security challenges and protect the privacy of customer data.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Oracle
Prophecy International migrates VMware environment with Oracle Cloud Solution
The Adelaide-based global provider is using the solution to eliminate the need to re-write applications, therefore allowing the company to enhance its business operations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.