Flash storage: Who makes what and where to deploy

This ComputerWeekly.com guide walks you through all the key areas of flash storage: All-flash, hybrid or PCIe; MLC vs SLC; speccing for performance and troubleshooting flash

Flash storage is the big news in storage arrays. Driven by the large and unpredictable workloads of server and desktop virtualisation, the low latency of flash storage has risen to the challenge.

But flash storage comes in many forms; in all-flash arrays, in hybrid arrays with spinning disk, as server-side PCIe flash. Then there is the alphabet soup associated with flash, MLC, SLC and now TLC.

So, which flash storage should you choose? What type of flash best suits different virtualisation and high-performance workloads? This ComputerWeekly.com guide walks you through all the key decision points of flash storage.

Table of contents:

Flash storage articles

flash storage Big storage takes two routes in flash array shakedown
In the first of a series of surveys of the flash storage market, Computer Weekly looked at the responses of the big six suppliers to the flash revolution – to retrofit SSD to existing architectures or buy a startup.

Flash array market roundup: The startups
The startups led the flash array fray from the start and still did when this was written, despite the efforts of the big six. Here we survey the work of the startup vanguard in the flash revolution.

Big storage turns the tide in the hybrid flash array market
The hybrid flash array market – as with most flash storage – has been all about the startups, but did the tide turn with EMC’s re-architecting of its VNX line for flash?

PCIe SSD flash storage roundup: The few become fewer
The PCIe flash storage, or server-side flash, market is one dominated by a few, in which the big six array makers don’t get a look-in. Computer Weekly surveyed the speeds and feeds on PCIe flash.

Flash caching software market roundup
Flash storage cuts latency and boosts IOPS, but cannot do the job alone; flash caching software is needed to target the blocks that need it most. Computer Weekly surveyed the key suppliers in this space.

Flash storage fundamentals

MLC vs SLC: Which flash SSD is right for you?
MLC vs SLC: Which flash SSD you choose depends on the performance you need and the price you want to pay, but the differences are not as great as you may think.

Podcast: MLC, eMLC, SLC, TLC – what they are and what they’re good for
The flash storage market is an alphabet soup of three-letter acronyms. Here we run the rule over the type of flash available and what they are good for.

When to use flash SSD instead of SAS or SATA?
When to use flash SSDs instead of SAS or SATA spinning disk is all down to application requirements, says David Boyle, senior consultant at GlassHouse Technologies (UK).

Flash storage performance

Sizing VDI storage for I/O performance in flash arrays
Flash arrays are increasingly being used for VDI storage. But how do customers size flash storage for the I/O requirements of virtual desktops?

Accelerate the performance of virtual machines with flash technology
Learn where to implement flash in your environment to tackle virtual machine performance issues.

You’ve got flash storage, so why isn’t everything faster?
To get the most out of flash storage you need storage performance monitoring of the whole stack, from servers to LUNs.

Flash storage: The future

What’s wrong with flash storage: And what will come after?
Despite flash storage taking the enterprise by storm, its days are numbered due to an unfavourable combination of technological obstacles and manufacturing economics.

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