Imagine having to wait a half hour to download your favorite apps. Imagine Google taking minutes, not split seconds, to process a search for cute puppy memes. Thanks to solid-state drives (SSDs), we don’t have to. (We also get some peace and quiet, with the elimination of those loud spinning disks.)
In the corporate world, data centers are processing extreme amounts of input/output operations thanks to SSD technology. As SSDs get faster and more affordable, we’ll only see more of them in enterprise data centers. In fact, Gartner predicts that up to 25% of data centers may use all-flash arrays for primary storage by 2020, with ROI of under six months in some cases.
4 things data center professionals should know about SSDs for data centers:
1) Price is dropping (and ROI often comes earlier)
In 1981, hard drive prices were as high as $500,000 per gig. Today, data center pros are paying pennies per gig. Although SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, the cost for both has decreased dramatically. Organizations have long ditched 60GB capacity drives for the cost savings of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB SSDs—with larger data centers investing in multiple TBs at a time. Other factors, including IOPS per watt and capacity and performance per rack, also make SSDs attractive across the enterprise.
2) SSDs are getting denser
When you leverage SSDs to pack more storage into the same space, it translates into fewer servers, less power, less cooling, and less data center space required. Enterprises are seeing this as a measurable approach to lowering TCO.
HDDs used to reign supreme when it came to the amount of memory that can be packed into a particular drive form factor. Not anymore. We’re now seeing 2.5-inch, 15TB SSDs being shipped, followed by recent announcements of 60TB and, even more monstrous, 100TB drives.
3) NVMe: A rocket ship for SSDs
NVM Express (NVMe) enables data centers to realize full flash potential without compatibility issues. It’s an optimized, high-performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set. NVMe was designed specifically for flash memory communication and allows SSDs to connect to the system using the PCIe bus. The solution lowers power consumption by reducing latency in the host software stack—all while increasing input/output operations.
Just how beneficial is NVMe? In terms of drive speed evolution, if SSDs were a major upgrade to slow-moving hard drives and spinning disks, then NVMe is like strapping a rocket ship to your SSD environment.
4) Find a winning storage mix
In every enterprise, there’s always a need for immediate “hot” data. There’s also an ever-growing need for large amounts of storage. Blending SSDs and HDDs enables organizations to leverage caching (SSDs) and “cold” storage (HDDs).
Are you reaching your “full flash potential?” Here are 4 things you should know about NVM Express.