IT execs expect significant growth in use of flash storage

The survey found a growing interest in using flash for application-specific data, with 45 percent of respondents indicating that they are using at least some of their flash storage this way.

Jeff Rowe | Jan 10, 2018 12:00 am

Flash-based storage is considered essential for data centers, but organizations in healthcare and other sectors expect to need additional technology innovations to unlock the full potential of their high-performance computing applications.

 That’s according to a recent report from storage provider DataDirect Networks. The company surveyed more than 100 global organizations in late 2017 and found that for 60 percent of the respondents managing complex I/O workloads, performance remains the largest challenge.

Roughly 90 percent of respondents reported using flash storage at some level within their data centers today, but the focus is increasingly on how much data is being retained in flash. About three quarters of organizations store less than 20 percent of their data on flash media, but many respondents anticipate an increase in 2018, with a quarter expecting 20-to-30 percent of their data to be flash based.

In addition, the report noted that the amount of data under management in these organizations continues to grow. Of organizations surveyed, 85 percent manage or use more than one petabyte of data storage, up 12 percentage points from the previous year’s survey.

As for other storage options, the report said respondents planning to leverage cloud-based storage (encompassing both private and public clouds) for at least part of their data in 2017 rose to 48 percent, an 11 percentage point increase from 2016 survey results.

Nonetheless, despite a more positive disposition toward cloud storage, only 5 percent of respondents anticipated more than 30 percent of their data residing in the cloud. Some 40 percent of respondents anticipated using public cloud in some way as a solution in the coming year, even if for a limited amount of data. This compares with only 20 percent of respondents last year who said they anticipated using public cloud storage options.

I/O bottlenecks continue to be the main concern for HPC storage administrators, particularly in intensive I/O workflows like analytics, where 76 percent of customers running analytics workloads consider I/O their top challenge. 

A majority of respondents (68 percent) view flash-native caches as the most likely technology to resolve the I/O challenge and to push HPC storage to the next level.