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March 2017, Vol. 16, No. 1

The state of flash storage systems

Flash storage systems changed the enterprise. The move to an all-flash array has almost eliminated storage performance problems, for now. But user expectations and sophistication of applications will quickly catch up, and the need to improve performance will never stop. Storage vendors are not standing still, however, and there are several innovations on the horizon that will allow all-flash systems to stay ahead of users' expectations. Making flash faster The key to making flash faster has very little to do with the media itself, actually, and more to do with the infrastructure that surrounds the media. For the most part, flash -- as density increased -- has actually gotten slower, especially on write I/O. That said, performance is still substantially better than hard disk alternatives and still much faster and less latent than the components that surround the media. The challenge facing flash vendors is the media is so fast and so latent-free that the rest of the solid-state package slows it down. Whether it is a flash drive ...

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