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As flash capacity grows, so does its popularity

Enhancing memory and storage is vital to improving data access and usage, and flash storage has been key to accelerating input/output operations.

Jeff Rowe | Apr 14, 2018 11:37 am

Flash-based SSDS have rapidly grown in popularity, performance, and capacity since their initial development in the late 1970s. Between 2012 and 2017, HDD revenues increased by a CAGR of 4.4 percent while SSD revenues increased by a CAGR of over 30 percent.

According to a recent commentary, there’s no shortage of reasons for the growth.  For one thing, “organizations who utilize SSDs can perform up to 100X faster than those utilizing HDDs. This translates to faster boot times, rapid file transfers, and greater bandwidth for enterprise workloads.”

Similarly, while flash is more expensive per GB, the Total Cost of Ownership is lower for bandwidth. And because SSDs have a longer lifespan than HDDs, organizations can achieve long-term cost savings.

Moreover, SSDs consume less power than HDDs, delivering additional cost savings as well as decreased heat loss during operations.

Given all this, it’s not surprising that “organizations are increasingly adopting flash-based SSDs to drive cost savings, enhance data resilience, and accelerate performance both on-premises and in the cloud.”

And as flash spreads, the pace of technological evolution is also picking up, leading to an increase in the number of flash-based solutions. “Innovations include the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface standard to fully leverage the performance characteristics of flash storage technologies. Instead of using HDD-based interfaces, the extension of the NVMe standard further increases storage performance over networks, enabling next-generation flash memory technology  . . . to deliver DRAM-like performance with the agility and reliability of flash.”

Given the rapidly increasing demands on storage due to an exponential increase in data and the demand for ever-greater compute capacity, storage must keep up to avoid becoming the bottleneck on overall system performance. And for that, an increasing number of users are turning to flash storage.

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