Many flash users today incorporate the medium not as primary storage, but as cache. In this video, Dennis Martin, president of Demartek, discusses some of the benefits of using solid-state storage as cache for hot data.
"Say you have a tiering situation where you have a mixture of flash and hard drives…. Only the application whose data you put [on flash] will benefit," said Martin. "Other applications aren't going to see that benefit. So sometimes you have to be careful about letting the word out about SSDs -- because everyone's going to want their stuff on SSDs."
But using solid-state for cache is different, he said. Users don't put any data directly on the cache, but cache software will monitor data use and move data that is showing the most I/Os to the solid-state cache.
"With caching, you're not limited to a single application. If you just say, 'cache everything coming through this pipe,' it doesn't matter what app it is, it will get accelerated," said Martin.
He said both options have their strengths. He noted a database app might benefit from just having direct access to SSD storage to make it as efficient as possible, for example.
"There's nothing wrong with having both types of solutions," he said.