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  • NVMe flash storage is shaking things up

    The development of the nonvolatile memory express protocol is a huge step forward in allowing enterprises to maximize the benefits inherent to flash storage. NVMe puts storage closer to the CPU, reduces latency and increases the amount of parallel sessions available to storage devices. NVMe over Fabrics, meanwhile, is designed to retain the benefits of centralized storage by allowing the client host to talk directly to NVMe flash storage across a high-speed network. This is all good. But adopting NVMe flash storage does raise a number of questions. For example, what is the best approach to take when integrating NVMe flash storage in a particular IT infrastructure? And, perhaps, most imperative to the majority of enterprises, how well will the NVMe flash storage protocol and the devices that support it work with existing data center technologies?

    From the get-go, the intrinsic possibilities and benefits of the all-flash data center seemed enormous and attractive. The idea that production databases would respond instantly to requests for unstructured data is extremely appealing to enterprises. Falling flash prices; the advent of unprecedented storage densities, with 16 TB flash drives commonplace and 50 TB-plus drives in the offing; and technologies such as compression and deduplication that work well in a flash environment make all-flash seem more reasonable than ever. The flash-only data center raises two significant issues that must be addressed, however. It makes equipping disaster recovery sites far more expensive and raises the question of why would you want to pay a premium price to maintain cold and stale data on expensive flash storage when a (still) much cheaper hard-disk option would suffice.

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  • The AFA market faces unprecedented and rapid commoditization

    Prices of all-flash arrays have nosedived. Massive discounts due to fierce competition are contributing to rapid and unprecedented commoditization of all-flash arrays and changes in the AFA market. Meantime, the demand for AFAs is shrinking because of increasing hyper-convergence and cloud adoption. This is bad news for storage vendors. To survive, they must innovate and differentiate themselves by solving real problems users face. But it's all to the advantage of storage buyer in today's AFA market. Learn how and why this is happening and how you can benefit.

    The data explosion has pushed storage systems to the breaking point, leading many enterprises to spend a good deal of their IT dollars on the cloud, backup storage and on-premises flash, according to the TechTarget 2018 IT Priorities Survey. More than half of those surveyed will see their IT budgets increase in 2018, according to the IT spending trends study. And the average growth in spending across all enterprises will be about the same this year as it was in 2017. Demand for on-premises storage infrastructure, meanwhile, continues unabated for a large percentage of companies, as it does for hyper-converged and converged infrastructures.

    Reliance on the cloud is leading almost a third of respondents to consolidate cloud workloads to better meet the management challenges presented by multiple cloud environments, while the on-demand model of the cloud itself has altered how we expect to consume and pay for IT resources. This includes storage, where vendors have changed how they deliver core features like deduplication and compression. The 2018 IT spending trends highlighted in this issue shed considerable light on today's storage market. This, in turn, will help elucidate your present and future storage needs.

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  • all-flash array (AFA)

    An all-flash array (AFA), also known as a solid-state storage disk system, is an external storage array that uses only flash media for persistent storage. Continue Reading

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