How to Assess All Flash Array Vendors for Your Business?

By CIOReview | Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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“We racked and stacked it; and got it up and running within a day,” says Uy Ut, IT Director for Shark Sports and Entertainment referring to the deployment of All-flash storage arrays (AFA) at his facility. This is the kind of repository, every organization desires in order to meet demands quickly and surpass the traditional storage arrays. The growing popularity of AFA, with a virtualization boon, has obligated many companies to replace their existing traditional HDD-based systems with All Flash Array. AFA, enables organization to deliver better and fast services to users, and also boosts the performance of the application with high I/O requirements. With the decline in the cost of flash storage and incredible advances in de-duplication, compression, provisioning, and parity, AFA stands as a feasible alternative when compared to slower storage options.

Although, flash arrays are quite expensive, their simple installation and easy maintenance are few of the many compelling reasons that encourage enterprises to adopt AFAs.

When it comes to setting-up an AFA infrastructure, there are numerous vendors offering multifarious features and capabilities. But how to assess them is the biggest challenge in the storage industry. An AFA is the storage subsystem that leverages multiple solid-state drives instead of spinning hard disk drives, which varies significantly based on the capabilities, so here are few capabilities and features to check in a vendor while choosing all-flash solution for the business.

One of the major reasons to deploy flash array storage is to enhance the performance of key applications in the business. With the aim to handle performance issue quickly, infrastructure is optimized for All-flash speeds. These flash arrays easily tie up with the business applications to drive high revenue. Therefore, it is important to analyze how vendors optimize the overall infrastructure to deliver more productivity.

Data reduction feature entices businesses to deploy flash arrays in order to save space and money. In order to run the data reduction algorithm, system needs a high processing power that declines the system’s ability to transfer data quickly. For that reason, it is wise to inquire about vendor’s approach to ensure consistent performance during data reduction.  Along with that, ask for data reduction assurance in situations where workload is more.

To achieve consistency in performance, workload has to be managed efficiently. Most of the vendors do offer solutions that work well with specialized workloads, but all vendors are not equal when it comes to handling multiple concurrent workloads. It is necessary to retrieve all the details about the workloads and confirm whether it matches the business needs.

Application and Cloud Integration

These integrations are crucial for enterprise applications in order to reduce operational expenditures. When it comes to enterprise security, moving applications to cloud without compromising security becomes essential. For that reason, before taking a leap, it is necessary to check if the vendors can move data to the cloud transparently and securely. Along with that, it is also essential to ensure if the applications are compatible when enterprises deploy all-flash storage. Apart from that, choosing the vendor who offers automation tools that can efficiently provision AFA will be beneficial for the organizations.

Inference

AFA offer advanced management services and features that are beyond the scope of traditional hard disk drives. AFA offer enterprises a variety of advantages over traditional disk storage, starting from easy of managing storage space, enable unprecedented data-mobility speeds, and prevent spikes in latency. With numerous providers in the AFA market today, it is vital for the CIOs to choose the best vendor offering the right solution. However, choosing a wrong vendor can put enterprises IT performance at stake. Therefore, enterprises need to ask valid questions to vendors before choosing the apt one.