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August 2014 Vol. 13 No. 6

Purchase criteria for all-flash storage arrays

All-flash storage arrays are hot. Suddenly, there are dozens of available systems from startups and established vendors alike. And a lot of them claim they can deliver all-flash arrays at prices lower than high-end 15K rpm hard disk drive (HDD)-based arrays. Not to be outdone, at least one "hybrid" array supplier claims it can deliver all-flash array-like performance at well below high-end HDD array prices. All of this makes selecting the right system for your environment that much more complicated. Purchase criteria for all-flash arrays must begin with performance, and there are three important factors to consider: IOPS, latency and throughput. Depending on your application, either IOPS or throughput will come into play. IOPS will reign supreme for small-block I/O-bound applications, while throughput is key for large-block I/O-bound applications. Latency is important in all cases. You'll quickly discover that existing HDD-based designs that have been modified to become all-flash arrays don't deliver sizzling performance. Flash ...

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