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.

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

Answer

Understanding distributed server-side caching

Learn how distributed server-side caching works and why the technology is important in this expert answer. Continue Reading

Tip

How server-side caching can reduce costs

Server virtualization has pushed spinning disk storage to the brink, leading storage planners to opt for server-side caching products. Continue Reading

Podcast

PCIe flash offers benefits beyond speed

In this Q&A, learn about some of the price and performance benefits of PCIe flash technology. 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

Answer

NVDIMM vs. memory channel flash storage

NVDIMM and memory channel flash are compared in this expert response. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each. 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

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.

Tip

Find the best spot for flash

There are a number of ways that flash storage can be implemented, each aimed at reducing latency, improving IOPS and throughput and reducing storage TCO -- the first part of this tip looks at caching on the server side and in storage arrays. Continue Reading

Tip

Deploying flash as a high-performance storage tier

This tip offers information about deploying flash as a high performance storage tier and all-flash arrays. Continue Reading

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

SSD installation tips

If you want to perform flash installation yourself, following these six tips will make the process smoother. 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

SSD caching vs. primary storage for data placement

SSD caching and primary storage are the two main ways to implement solid-state storage technology with respect to data placement. Learn more about each strategy. 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

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