Essential Guide

Flash options in the array vs. server

As the price of flash drops, shops capitalize on its high performance to accelerate needy applications. Our Essential Guide to SSD implementation looks at the flash options when it comes to deployment.

Introduction

Solid-state storage is showing up in enterprise servers and storage in a variety of different configurations. Server-side flash is popular because it puts the data on flash storage physically close to the applications that require it most, reducing latency. However, it is typically directly attached to a single server, which does not allow applications running on additional servers access to flash. This can be accomplished with software, but that adds latency back into the equation. Flash storage is, of course, also being implemented in arrays. This can mean a hybrid array with mostly hard disks and a flash tier for frequently accessed information or an all-flash array. Our Essential Guide to SSD implementation looks at the variety of ways flash storage is showing up in servers and storage today. It also compares and contrasts each of the different approaches, so you can make an informed decision about what's right for your organization.

1Server-side flash-

Server-side flash puts solid-state performance close to apps

There are a number of ways that flash can be added on the server side: in a typical hard disk format, by connecting directly to the PCIe bus, or by plugging into the server's DIMM slots (known as "memory-channel storage"). Each has its own pros and cons.

Opinion

The pros and cons of server-side flash cache

Despite the benefits of server-side flash, it is not being widely picked up in datacenters. This overview explores the industry presence of server-side flash. Continue Reading

Tip

Server-side flash options and benefits

Eric Slack of Storage Switzerland explains the benefits and drawbacks of the three major forms of server-side flash. Continue Reading

Feature

Server-side form factors explained

Understand how server-side flash is being deployed today and the different form factors available. Continue Reading

Answer

Using server-side caching in virtual environments

Learn about the issues associated with using server-side caching in virtual server environments in this expert answer. Continue Reading

Feature

DIMM flash may outpace PCIe flash for storage

PCIe drives have a number of limitations, while DIMM slots push storage closer to servers. But DIMM is currently costly due to low production. Learn more about each technology in this Q&A. Continue Reading

Tip

Reduce latency with server-side flash

Marc Staimer explains how PCIe-based server-side flash helps reduce latency , but still has room for improvement. Continue Reading

2SSD arrays-

Hybrid and all-flash arrays allow a variety of apps to access data on flash storage

Array-based flash storage ranges from home-brewed solutions created by adding some flash to an existing array to arrays that have been designed from the ground up to maximize the potential of flash storage.

Tip

All-flash arrays: Performance vs. function

This tip offers criteria to help you decide whether performance or function is most important when choosing an all-flash storage array. Continue Reading

Podcast

Make sense of all-flash array vendors' performance claims

Learn how to interpret performance claims of all-flash array vendors, from IOPS to throughput and latency. Continue Reading

Tip

Overcoming unpredictable performance of hybrid flash arrays

Hybrid arrays can speed performance but performance can be inconsistent. Learn what happens when the flash in a hybrid flash array "misses." Continue Reading

Feature

Hybrid storage arrays vs. all-flash arrays

With solid-state prices dropping, more vendors offer all-flash arrays. Are they always better than hybrid arrays that mix flash with spinning disk though? Continue Reading

Tip

All-flash vs. hard disk

How does all-flash storage stack up against traditional hard disk? George Crump compares the two in terms of performance, data efficiency and cost. Continue Reading

Answer

Considerations for deploying an all-flash array

What should you look out for when deploying an all-flash storage array? Randy Kerns explains the importance of capacity and support in this expert answer. Continue Reading

3Compare and contrast-

Learn where flash makes the most sense for your organization's needs

The final section of our guide to offers information about how the different implementations of flash storage stack up against each other, so you can choose the best approach for your particular needs.

News

Enterprise flash use focuses on hybrid arrays, servers

Hybrid arrays and servers are the most common spots flash is showing up in enterprises as all-flash arrays gain a foothold. Common workloads include virtual environments and databases. Continue Reading

Feature

Everything you need to know about flash caching

Using flash as cache can boost server and application performance dramatically, but the kind of cache you choose is critical. Continue Reading

Tip

Are vendor performance specs believable?

Flash vendors publish test results skewed in favor of its product. Colm Keegan helps separate fact from fiction in this tip. Continue Reading

Answer

Comparing network-, server- and storage-based caching

The variety of ways caching can be implemented today are explained in this expert answer to help you determine the best approach for your organization's needs. Continue Reading

Tip

Top five myths surrounding flash storage

Marc Staimer discusses the most pervasive myths surrounding flash storage today. Continue Reading

Answer

Are SSDs a good choice for enterprise desktops?

Brien Posey explains the benefits and drawbacks of using SSDs for the desktop, and when it's best to make the transition. Continue Reading

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