Hybrid flash arrays are the most common storage-side flash deployment today -- well ahead of all-flash arrays. Many users have added flash to existing storage to create a DIY hybrid SSD array. Plus, every major storage vendor offers hybrid flash arrays, and some sell a variety of them. Typically, an organization might have one or two applications -- such as a database or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) -- that require the performance flash offers. So, an all-flash array may be overkill.
Hybrid flash arrays offer the performance that organizations need for those critical apps, while keeping costs under control and boosting capacity with traditional hard drives. Of course, there are a number of important things to consider when choosing a hybrid SSD array. For example, should you build it yourself with existing storage or purchase a new array? If you opt to buy, has the vendor simply added flash to an existing array, or has the array been designed from the ground up or re-architected to take full advantage of flash?
This Essential Guide will look at the variety of hybrid flash arrays available today, offer info on typical hybrid array use cases, compare hybrid and all-flash arrays, and more. Readers will also learn common issues to watch for when deploying and managing hybrid flash arrays.
1DIY vs. buy-
When to install a hybrid array on your own
Buying a pre-configured hybrid SSD array from a vendor can result in a simpler installation and lower risk of incompatibility between an SSD and an existing array. However, with the steep price markups associated with buying, more and more companies are looking to go the DIY route.
Installing SSD on your own without going through your storage vendor to save money? Here are lessons learned from people who have done it. Continue Reading
Experts disagree on whether self-SSD installation is a good idea, but those in favor say app assessment, research and testing are crucial steps. Continue Reading
A look at the options to build hybrid flash arrays from the big six SAN makers Continue Reading
How can hybrid flash tiering decrease reliance on expensive tier one storage and improve performance? Independent storage expert Phil Goodwin shows us how in this tip. Continue Reading
2Hits and misses-
Hybrid flash snags to consider
There are a number of benefits to implementing a hybrid SSD array, which promises to deliver high-performance results at a lower cost. But are there drawbacks to look out for with a hybrid flash array? The links below dive into the issues you may run into with hybrid SSD arrays and how to confront them.
Any flash vendor can publish test results skewed in favor of its product. Colm Keegan helps separate fact from fiction in this tip. Continue Reading
George Crump of Storage Switzerland compares three common types of caching -- write-through, write-back and write-around -- in this Expert Answer. Continue Reading
Sub-LUN automated tiering can maximize SSD effectiveness. Learn the importance of choosing the right page size for sub-LUN automated tiering. Continue Reading
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3Hybrid vs. all-flash-
Deciding which array is the right choice
Hybrid and all-flash arrays each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Deciding which array works best for an environment requires an examination of your particular needs and resources. Below, find out what to look for when making the choice between a hybrid or all-flash array.
While hybrid flash arrays are currently the most popular way to deploy solid-state storage in enterprises today, demand for all-flash arrays is growing. Over the past year, the all-flash array market has changed a lot. At the end of 2013, you could easily divide the arrays on the market into two distinct camps – performance focused on one hand and feature-rich on the other. In 2014, the former camp is nearly gone, due to end user demand for functionality like deduplication, replication and thin provisioning. Today’s arrays are looking a lot like their hard disk cousins, except with much higher performance. Our Handbook on all-flash arrays offers criteria to consider when making a purchasing decision, such as the core features the array offers, how those features are delivered, scale-up vs. scale-out architecture, and more. Continue Reading
SearchSolidStateStorage managing editor Ed Hannan and independent storage expert Andrew Reichman compare all-flash and hybrid flash arrays in this Q&A. Continue Reading
Choosing hybrid SSD-HDD storage systems over all-SSD storage systems comes down to IOPS, throughput, capacity, functionality and, of course, cost. Continue Reading
Hybrid flash arrays in action
We've gathered five separate case studies where a hybrid SSD array was implemented. See what the process entailed, benefits they saw, and why they chose to go with hybrid over all-flash.
Hedrick Gardner ruled all-flash array 'overkill,' and picked hybrid array from Tegile Systems -- but for more than just its performance bump. Continue Reading
Bartholomew County, Ind. increased its virtual desktop infrastructure seats with a Tintri VMstore T540 hybrid storage array that mixes SSD and HDD. Continue Reading
The University of Colorado's dental school turned to a hybrid flash array from Tegile to meet high IOPS demands. Continue Reading
Fund investment advisor MVision has deployed a VM-centric Tintri hybrid flash array to speed consultant remote access to its VMware View 5.1 virtual desktop infrastructure Continue Reading
Housing association North Devon Homes builds dual-site Nexenta storage software arrays with hybrid flash as shared storage for VMware/Hyper-V virtual server environment Continue Reading