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How cloud providers are using NAND flash technology today

Leah Schoeb, senior partner with Evaluator Group, discusses how cloud providers are using flash today in this Expert Answer.

How is flash being used by cloud providers today?

Cloud providers are increasingly using flash today to offer better performance to their customer base and to solve performance problems they have run into using rotating media. Manufacturers like Intel have even geared their solid-state storage to specifically support high performance needs for cloud providers.

Cloud providers are looking at several ways to use flash to handle the latency issues they find using HDDs only. Many providers are using cost-effective server side flash to meet SLAs. Others are using all flash arrays that can support high levels of activity from clusters or virtualized infrastructures to meet their low latency requirements.

Some cloud providers don't have the time or resources to shutdown servers to install server-side flash, nor have the financial resources to purchase them. In other cases, they need the level of data services and protection that are provided by traditional storage arrays. In these cases, some are finding success by adding SSDs or flash modules to their existing storage infrastructure. Using a combination of the three scenarios mentioned above is also possible.

This was last published in July 2013

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How are you using (or planning to use) flash today?
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Hi,

Regarding the following comment in your post

"Some cloud providers don't have the time or resources to shutdown servers to install server-side flash, nor have the financial resources to purchase them. In other cases, they need the level of data services and protection that are provided by traditional storage arrays. "

What kind of services these cloud providers cater to? What's your take on server side SSD caching solution for such cloud providers? Would they be willing to try a cost effective way to boost IO performance which does not involve replacing all HDDs with flash, no changes to their storage strategy and setup?
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