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Solid-state storage device buyers want performance

As solid-state storage devices become more commonplace in storage shops, the amount implemented and its use cases are growing, too.

It's pretty clear that most companies are still struggling to contain storage growth, but today, many of them are trying to deal with the capacity challenge and improve performance at the same time. And, of course, the easiest and least expensive way to ratchet up performance is to add a solid-state storage device to the mix.

Our most recent results from TechTarget's exclusive solid-state storage survey indicate a sharp rise in the amount of flash that users are either augmenting or replacing existing storage with. Nearly a year ago, respondents reported that they had an average of nearly 100 TB of flash currently installed and in use. The latest data shows about twice that amount of solid-state storage (201 TB) has found its way into users' shops. As flash prices continue to drop and the deployment options increase, the solid-state storage device buying decision has transitioned from whether or not to purchase it to how much is enough.

While flash is slowly becoming a capacity medium, it's still largely a performance play for most companies. More than half of the companies participating in our survey (51%) currently use solid-state storage, about the same number as the last iteration of our survey. But the spike in installed capacity indicates that companies are finding more operational challenges that a speedy solid-state storage device can fix.

While 75% of respondents said that issues related to I/O performance caused them to consider flash, 63% cited capacity concerns. Among infrastructure-related deployments, server virtualization was an issue for 38% of respondents.

In addition to the question of how much flash to buy, users need to make decisions related to where that solid-state storage device should be deployed -- and there are plenty of options, depending on specific use cases. As it's been for quite some time, hybrid hard disk/flash arrays are the deployment mode of choice, favored by 64% of respondents. With 43%, server-based flash is the second most popular implementation method, followed by all-flash arrays (38%).

That's the "how" of solid-state storage, on the "why" side, our respondents indicated that the top three apps they use their solid-state storage device for are databases (64%), supporting virtualized environments (43%) and online transaction processing apps (34%).

Snapshot, Take One: Flash use is ubiquitous, hybrid arrays still rule

Solid-state storage deployment
How solid-state storage has been deployed
Percentage of companies using solid-state storage
Percentage of companies currently using solid-state storage
Amount of installed solid-state storage
Amount of solid-state storage currently installed

Snapshot, Take Two: Need for speed and databases trigger flash purchases

Storage challenges prompting flash purchases
Storage challenges prompting flash purchases
Flash storage use cases
Top 10 use cases for currently installed flash storage
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Performance. Reliability. And a reasonable price point. We seem to be getting them all.
Hi, ncberns--I agree, all of the key metrics seem to be aligning right now. Still, price is a big issue for many companies--not so much for high=performance apps, but certainly for the more mainstream business apps that most companies rely on. I'm wondering--how much of a premium would a user pay to get all those solid-state benefits..?
Of course. We are speed freaks, perhaps above all else. The holy mantra of computing has always been this. Lots. Fast. Safe. Don't see it changing any time soon.
What do you want from a solid-state storage device?
Ha! A familiar mantra, indeed. If users weren't always looking for bigger, faster, better I think vendors might lose some of their incentive to innovate.
You will have to understand that it has it's cons too. The data stored there is not something that is going to last for centuries.
Centuries, eh? I'm not sure what media would meet that requirement... maybe optical?

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