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April 2014, Volume 3, Issue 4

Flash memory storage speeds past slow write cliffs

Slow write speeds coupled with higher costs--compared to hard drive arrays-- scared many enterprises away from using solid-state or flash memory storage. Now, however, many organizations are beginning to take a fresh look. What's changed? Costs continue to drop and vendors are experimenting with flash memory storage in various incarnations, be it in all-flash arrays, hybrid flash/hard-drive arrays, on PCIe cards, as memory cache or even as software. Some are betting that it has a definite place in the data center, too: VMware Inc.'s upcoming VSAN, a software-defined storage tier that pools direct-attached storage resources, will require at least one solid-state drive (SSD) per host, and the company has added its flash read cache (vFRC) capabilities to vSphere 5.5. Despite being pricey, flash is so much faster than solid-state drives that enterprises are willing to consider it for removing storage bottlenecks and improving IOPS--especially in an age of virtual desktop infrastructure and other applications that require high ...

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