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As costs drop, benefits of flash increasing for IT managers

The IT transformation is about more than simply buying the latest and greatest stuff, says one analyst. It’s about dramatically improving your operations.

Jeff Rowe | Jul 12, 2017 12:00 am

If you look at the studies conducted by Gartner and other organizations, it seems clear that flash storage is taking hold across all sectors.  But what’s not so clear is how long it will take to become dominant.

According to Scott Sinclair, senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), the time for organizations to switch to flash was, well, “yesterday.”  According to research he’s done, “as well as the anecdotal conversations I have had with CIOs, the benefits delivered by flash storage are transformational. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who has said that his or her flash deployment was a mistake.”

Of course, knowing that others are doing it and knowing why you should do it yourself are two very different things, but according to Sinclair there’s no shortage of good reasons.

For example, speed and reliability.  “According to our research,” he says, “almost half of flash users reported improvements to both operational expenses and TCO. In other words, adding flash storage helps make the infrastructure easier to manage.”

Moreover, Sinclair says the initial cost that has historically been an impediment for organizations thinking of switching is no longer an issue. “Thanks to a lower cost of components and more efficient software though, that cost premium is almost non-existent today when flash is compared to higher performing HDDs.”

As to how to approach a transition to flash, Sinclair says “both hybrid and all-flash will provide significant benefits over an all-HDD based environment. All-flash is more expensive, but the performance benefits are more predictable. With flash costs coming down, I would make all-flash my default option, and then select hybrid in the cases where the budget or business priority of the workload can't support all-­flash.”