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February 2018, Vol. 16, No. 12

Time for a flash storage system refresh: What's next?

Most data centers have already made the decision to implement flash in the primary storage tier, with many now 100% flash for production data. This year will be one of the first where we will see organizations start to go through a flash storage system refresh. For these enterprises, the shock and awe of their first flash purchase has long worn off. So they will be looking at more than just IOPS as they refresh their original flash purchase. Why so soon? Considering most data centers purchased their first all-flash, or mostly flash, system less than three years ago, it may seem premature for a flash storage system refresh. But technology changes fast, and in the case of flash, even faster than normal. The first big change in flash has been in the density of the drives. Three years ago, 128 GB or 256 GB flash drives were the norm. Today, most vendors are shipping 16 TB drives, and several are preparing to ship 50 TB-plus drives in this year. The problem is most flash systems, especially early ones, couldn't mix flash capacities ...

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