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What you need to know about flash caching
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of July 2014 Vol. 13 No. 5
Flash storage devices offer an effective way to eliminate data storage performance problems, especially when they're installed on the server where the application resides. Using flash as a cache for that application's data allows performance acceleration to be leveraged in an automated fashion, and it can accelerate both internal server storage and storage on a shared storage network. The challenge facing IT professionals is determining which flash caching alternative is best. There are three primary types of flash caching that you should consider when you need to improve storage performance: File-level caching Block-level caching Aggregated caching Each approach has its pros and cons; this article describes each one so you can select the right caching solution for your environment. Products for all these approaches typically install on a server in the environment that has access to flash-based storage that's either internal to the server or on a storage network. The most typical use case is putting flash storage inside the ...
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Features in this issue
Using solid-state storage as cache can boost server and application performance dramatically, but the kind of flash cache you choose is critical.
Object technology offers scalability, economical operation and better data management; but it's very different from file and block storage systems.
Both the enterprise and midrange categories saw first-time winners in our ninth annual Quality Awards for backup and recovery software.
Solid-state technology deployments continue to climb. However, the favorite implementation method has switched from hybrid arrays to all-flash arrays.
Columns in this issue
Buying storage gear can be confusing, but if you put some effort into learning the real meaning behind vendors' data storage terms, it could also be a lot of fun.
Jon Toigo examines the four steps of the storage algorithm, and concludes that the current storage equation just doesn't add up.
Ethernet has made advances with packet dropping and speed in recent years, but Fibre Channel remains the SAN protocol of choice for performance.
If you're still buying separate servers, network and storage, you might consider converged infrastructure systems as a modern alternative.