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Are all-flash storage arrays being used for general-purpose storage?

Initially, all-flash arrays were niche products for applications that needed ultimate performance. Are they still positioned for that, or are they being used more generally?

Well, let's go back a little bit in time. When all-flash storage arrays came out, a lot of them didn't have the features that are required of tier one, primary storage systems.

Early all-flash storage arrays were primarily used for acceleration. Typical use cases included database acceleration, virtual desktop environments and data stores for server virtualization. And the arrays were very effective, but they did not offer large capacities or many of the functions that IT administrators expect of primary storage systems. Today, the products have matured significantly. Many of them have such features as thin provisioning, snapshot and replication. Dedupe and compression are common as well.

So, today we're starting to see all-flash arrays in use as general-purpose primary storage. We have been watching how organizations are sizing all-flash array deployments. If an organization purchases a high-capacity, all-flash system, it is a good indication that the array is being used for more than accelerating a specific workload or application. These days, that is becoming more common.

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This was last published in January 2015

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Today, flash storage is used widely in execution of various tasks. This has evolved through introduction of improved tier one features in primary storage systems.
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