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The Economic Realities of All-Flash Arrays Today

Apr 12, 2017 5:45:42 AM Tech Data Europe Storage

By Evan Unrue, Chief Technologist, IoT, Analytics & Cognitive EMEA 


Evan Unrue Evan Unrue, Chief Technologist, IoT, Analytics & Cognitive EMEA, Technology Solutions, now part of Tech Data.
In the past, the economic viability of All-Flash Arrays was based primarily on cost per IO (a performance metric denoting price/performance).

Those companies running heavily storage transactional application estates found a friend in flash technology as they could achieve what previously needed racks and racks of spinning disk, all being managed to within an inch of it’s life, in a much smaller footprint and at a much lower cost. These cost reductions were in both Capex and Opex due to the substantial reduction in space, power requirements, cooling requirements and management complexity.

Through the pace of innovation from both drive manufacturers and enterprise storage vendors, we have seen major advances in the economic value of Flash technology driving its adoption in the modern business, specifically:

  • Reduction in cost.
  • Driving down power and cooling costs.
  • Reducing the physical footprint of flash storage arrays.
  • Allowing companies to choose the flash technology most suitable to their requirements.
  • Surplus of storage performance to service more workloads with Flash.

With all this in mind, there is no reason why companies can’t put flash everywhere, servicing mixed application workloads, rather than just the performance hungry monster applications.

This proliferation of flash throughout the datacentre has become a real catalyst for companies to explore what they could do next, rather than micromanaging the cost and complexity of the storage they have today.

Enterprise Strategy Group recently published a detailed economic analysis of the benefits of IBM’s all-flash solution against traditional Tier 1 performance HDD-based arrays. (This study was commissioned by IBM).

The report determined that in a typical enterprise use case:

  • The all-flash arrays delivered a 76% return on investment and an 11-month payback period, compared to traditional storage.
  • The IBM solution also delivered additional performance benefits of about $1.2 million over a three-year period.
  • Those arrays also enabled upfront Capex savings of nearly $600,000, as well as incremental savings for ongoing Opex savings of nearly $400,000.

The ESG report also pointed out several key takeaways about the economic benefits of IBM’s all-flash arrays, notably the substantial business benefit created even by flash deployments for very small amounts of persistent data.

To read more, visit our IBM storage hub, and download our Flash and Beyond guide.

Tech Data Europe

Written by Tech Data Europe


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