Fast, stable and very scalable flash
Flash arrays are raising eyebrows with their tremendous claims of speed and new efficiencies. Dell EMC says the impact that flash has made is evident by flash's record-shattering numbers. Darrin Murray, senior sales specialist, MIT, Dell EMC, will present is thoughts on flash at the ITWeb Data Centre Summit 2017 on 25 July.
ITWeb Events: What is flash and how does it apply to the data centre?
Murray: Flash is a storage technology. What is being used in data centres is not dissimilar to the flash memory used inside phones and other modern devices. It is very fast, very stable and very scalable. Those three elements are radically changing what we can do at a data centre level, including in-memory processing and real-time reporting.
ITWeb Events: What are the pros and cons of making the move to flash?
Murray: The cons are very few, though it does depend on the technological maturity of a company. Flash isn't leading edge, but a proven and resilient enterprise technology. Yet its impact is massive, so much so that it can rewrite the rules of business engagement. Imagine pulling out your phone and knowing right there what is happening in your business, in real time.
Another often overlooked benefit is the massive reduction in data centre costs due to power, cooling and floor space reduction possible when implementing all flash storage solutions. That's the power of flash arrays.
ITWeb Events: What is driving this move within organisations?
Murray: Data is a very big factor. Organisations not only need to make sense of their data, but they need to do it at the fastest rate possible. Traditional storage simply cannot keep up with that demand, whereas flash is enabling and reinforcing the demand. The good news is that flash has reached an inflection point where in most cases it has become an affordable and therefore viable replacement for aging spinning disk storage solutions.
ITWeb Events: How are different sectors using flash to speed up processes?
Examples can be nuanced, so it is more beneficial to look at some of flash's general impacts. A huge appeal sits around batch jobs, which have been brought down from hours or days to in some instances mere minutes. Real-time reports are also a very common reason why companies adopt all-flash arrays.
Think of it this way: every time a bank or retailer's representative apologises for their slow system, that very often can be traced to bottlenecks at the data centre. The systems simply don't deliver results fast enough. Flash is a big part of solving that problem.
ITWeb Events: What emerging technologies will determine the future of Flash?
We are currently seeing the adoption of NVMe, a type of flash used for data caching. This is improving even current Flash speeds by leaps and bounds, and creates more choice in how companies can modernise their data centre environments.
ITWeb Events: What are the three lessons learnt that you would like the attendees of DC2017 to take away from your presentation?
First, the speed of business is now closely tied to the speed of your technology systems. Second, how you handle your data will determine your ongoing business strategy. Lastly, the days of delayed reports and planning on yesterday's revelations are disappearing. Real-time views of operations are not only possible, they will one day be the standard.
ITWeb Events: Why is Dell EMC involved as a sponsor of the 2017 Data Centre Summit? What value will attendees gain from your presence at the event?
Dell EMC represents perhaps the greatest collection of talent, experience and end-to-end enterprise technologies in the world today. We were among the pioneers of virtualisation, converged systems and transformation philosophy, a tradition that continues today with our pioneering support for flash. We believe we have much to give. But at the same time, we want to hear what attendees think and expect. This revolution starts and ends with the customer.