Investments in flash storage technology have been driven by a desire for better performance, particularly for primary workloads. While one can easily argue the pros and cons of different types of technology, nobody can debate the fact that flash is faster than disk-based storage. Flash has no moving parts or rotating disks, so read-write times are measured in microseconds, compared to milliseconds for disk storage.

As flash goes mainstream, organizations need to consider the broader picture to ensure they’re investing in the right flash technology. What is the application environment? Is there a mix of SAN and NAS workloads in a shared, virtual infrastructure? Is the application designed for the cloud? What are the application’s requirements with regards to latency and throughput? What data management capabilities are required? How quickly can performance and capacity be scaled?

With greater performance comes greater business value, from improved operational efficiency and productivity to competitive advantages in the marketplace. But the benefits of flash storage go far beyond performance. Because there are no moving parts, flash storage is more reliable and less susceptible to wear and tear. Flash has the flexibility to support both SAN and NAS workloads, move data to and from cloud environments, and seamlessly scale to add capacity.

Flash can also simplify IT operations and management. Flash configurations typically don’t require specialists, Quality of Service can be applied automatically to guarantee performance at the application level, and hardware can be added or removed without disrupting business operations. Higher effective capacity, application integration capabilities, and lower space, power and cooling requirements translate to lower total cost of ownership.

When developing a flash strategy, there are three primary factors to consider. The first is predictability. You need a storage infrastructure that delivers the predictability to meet the future needs of your organization in terms of performance and scalability. The second factor is capacity. How can you optimize storage capacity and efficiency as demands increase? The third factor is flexibility. As your organization introduces new applications and finds new use cases for flash such as big data analytics, you need storage infrastructure that can support evolving business requirements.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently unveiled a new lineup of innovative 3PAR flash storage solutions. 3PAR Adaptive Data Reduction is capable of reducing capacity requirements by 75 percent by selectively applying in-line de-duplication and compression. 3PAR Peer Persistence enables disaster recovery across greater distances to reduce the risk of loss, while HPE Recovery Manager Central allows for off-premises copy data management to protect data beyond the flash array. 3PAR StoreServ Management Console now includes more automation features to improve business agility. The foundation of these solutions is the HPE 3PAR Operating System, which reduces latency by up to 40 percent, offers expanded host connectivity and multitenant IP networking for cloud deployments, and delivers twice the scalability with automated provisioning.

The conversation about flash will always involve performance, but that’s not where the conversation should stop. Consider all of the benefits of flash so you can develop a strategy that supports your organization’s specific use cases and business goals, now and in the future.

by Allan Doehler, Sigma Business Development Manager for HP