Flash Storage Architecture: What's Available and Why It Matters

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Next Flash Storage Architecture: What's Available and Why It Matters-4 Next

Post-Process-Tiering Hybrid

Hybrid systems offered by legacy storage vendors such as EMC, NetApp, IBM, HP and Dell Systems generally use the post-process-tiering-hybrid architecture. This architecture retrofits flash into storage systems that were originally designed and optimized for use with disk drives. Post-processing-hybrid systems examine IO patterns over a long period of time to determine what data is hot (the working set) and what is cold. Then, based on a set schedule (every 12 hours, for example), they move data that they think will be active (hot data) to flash and data they expect to be inactive (cold data) to disk – essentially guessing what data will be hot during the next period based on historical data. However, because the data movement happens periodically, very often the hot data ends up on disk and the cold data on flash. The result is that post-process-tiering-hybrid systems deliver only marginal performance improvements over disk-based systems. In addition, because they lack dedupe and compression, they also make less efficient use of the available media.

Everyone in the storage market is excited about flash. As well they should be. Flash can deliver much better performance than spinning disks. In addition, the cost of flash media is starting to come down to a level where all enterprises should consider adding flash-based storage to their enterprise storage infrastructure.

Yet amidst all this excitement there is also confusion. In particular, as vendors introduce a variety of all-flash and hybrid-flash storage systems, many storage administrators are confused as to the differences between the systems, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each of them. Almost all current products in the flash storage landscape can be broken down into four different types of system architectures – all-flash, post-process tiering hybrid, caching hybrid, and continuous tiering hybrid – each with its own unique characteristics.

By comparing flash storage architectures side by side, storage administrators can better understand what flash architectures – and by extension what flash products – make the most sense for their particular set of applications. In doing so, they are likely to find that while flash has improved enterprise storage system performance, until recently storage system architectures have failed to keep up with media and other technology advancements, and fully leveraged these technologies to deliver better performance while minimizing data storage costs.

In this slideshow, Jacob Cherian, vice president of product strategy at Reduxio, takes a closer look at the four flash storage architectures currently on the market.


Related Topics : Fujitsu, Storage Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, Virtual Tape Library, InfiniBand

More Slideshows

DataM63-290x195 Data Storage Today: Key Takeaways from VMworld 2016

Survey findings include pain points for secondary storage, average restore times, the growth of hyperconvergence and rate of cloud adoption in enterprises.  ...  More >>

infra97-290x195 7 Tips to Improve Data Backup and Ensure Business Continuity

With today's modern solutions, enterprises should be able to transform backup and recovery from a low-level legacy IT function to a modern function delivering continuity and value to the entire business. ...  More >>

OwnBackupCloudDataRisk0x Top 3 Cloud Backup Dangers and How to Avoid Them

The top three data dangers lurking in cloud environments and tips for how to manage data protection and backup in a SaaS-based world. ...  More >>

Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.