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All-flash storage

All-flash storage refers to any system that houses data on nonvolatile solid state drive (SDD). It ranges in size from jump drive to enterprise cloud. No moving parts means greater efficiency for writing, reading and fetching data regardless of flash storage size. From a single disk to a series of all-flash arrays in a data center, the core values of flash storage are speed, efficiency and clear real-time analytics. It offers faster, better recovery in the event of catastrophe or internal failure.

Moving away from the spinning media of hard disk drives (HDDs) is crucial for the future of industries like finance, health care, commerce and automated engineering. All-flash storage has many advantages discussed below, but the short answer as to why it’s better has everything to do with speed and affordability.

It's no secret that all-flash array has been one of the hottest trends in storage for months on end. This type of storage will be in headlines for a long time to come because it’s the basis for virtualization of servers and data centers. As more corporate entities discover the value of virtualization, the more critical the understanding of all-flash storage will become.

Advantages 

CEOs and entrepreneurs who may not understand everything about all-flash storage and how it works can understand the importance of saving money by evolving. Hard disk storage is expensive and creates a lot of challenges that can be remedied by using all-flash storage instead. 

Saving space

Rack space in your data center is one place you could significantly reduce cost by moving away from HDDs and switching to all-flash storage. Rack space is pricey, and when you can literally store more data in less space, you'll save on rack space and square footage. All the moving parts within an HDD plus the space needed between drives to prevent overheating requires exponentially more space than all-flash storage housing the same amount of data. You could be using a quarter of the rack space or less for the same amount of data storage.

Save energy

When you switch to all-flash storage, the need to spend on cooling and powering your storage is cut by more than half. Generating less heat and using less energy to run are just two of the major advantages over volatile hard disk drives. Many enterprises don’t take the cost of cooling in mind when discussing HDD overhead, even though it can make up an immense part of the bottom-line cost of operating a data center or even a simple in-office server. 

Reduce demands on your IT department

When you condense even the most disparate data into a smaller, more organized space, most policies will be automated. This means that will take fewer eyes on the screen and fewer hands on keyboards to manage it and understand operations. When you manage your all-flash storage with today’s state-of-the-art software, one person can do an entire team’s job and still have hours left in the day.

Real-time analytics will make your business sing

When you run all-flash storage with up-to-date management software for VMs and containers, you can view analytics in real time anytime you like. Predictive analysis allows you to not only see what’s coming down the pipe. You’ll understand the data you’re reviewing, how it relates to other data, and what it means right now and in the future. When you use it with real-time analytics, you can do everything from forecast to solve problems. You’ll understand the storage you’re using, how you could more effectively use it, and what policies you can put in place to enhance its overall power. 

What we build with benefits 

With all the basic advantages listed, it's still a mistake to think of flash as merely a more compact or faster way of writing and retrieving information. Because it’s so much faster and more compact, it is a logical place for technology to become even more agile. Flash storage is easier to configure and manage. It is more efficient and utilizes more of the energy put into it by admins because it has fewer barriers than HDD storage. For these reasons, all-flash is the answer for the next phase of data storage: virtual and cloud environments.

Our view of what’s next 

There's a lot going on in the world of all-flash storage that can seem like cutting edge. But storage is only truly progressive when it gets us away from LUNs and blocks and toward VMs and containers. Tintri Global Center (TGC) is one example of this movement, offering management for as many as 160,000 VMs while simplifying at-scale storage management. TGC allows you to grow from 17 TB to over 10 PB while managing up to 32 VMstores. Condensing so much into such a simple platform means you have one federated pool of storage you can run with just one IT employee if you like. TGC allows you to see across the landscape of your entire storage footprint using up-to-the-second analytics that move with the viewer in real time. Watch what your system is doing and create analytics reports with insights on individual VMs and containers if you like—it's that granular and that fast.

Let the data drive decisions

Offering up a million VM stats every 10 minutes, TGC literally knows what it's doing when you incorporate VM Scale-Out software. This will allow millions of pieces of data to drive decisions you make about best placement and use of VMs. Enhance your storage management, its capacity and your VM performance without headaches and without having to loop through spreadsheets of outdated stats.

Create policies for VMs by group

TGC allows you to corral groups of VMs by similarity and apply quality of service (QoS) and data protection policies to them. If you move a VM out of a group it belonged to when you created such policies, they'll stay imbedded in the VMs without any intervention from you. That means you can set the policies you want based on characteristics or data type (among many other things) within VMs and never worry again if they'll operate based on these policies—they will.

At the heart of the best all-flash storage systems is the bedrock for mobilizing toward VMs and containers. These systems require fewer IT staff, less space and energy, and never ask admins to choose between control and visibility. All-flash storage created with scalability in mind is no longer progressive; it represents the direction the consumer requires the data storage industry to go. Real-time analytics available for all-flash arrays no longer represents a want but rather a need consumers of all-flash storage have today across a multitude of industries.

Managing at the most granular level

Managing data on a more granular level when your array houses virtual machines (VMs) or containers means you can see data with more detail than ever before. With greater ease of use in cloud environments, virtual building blocks require less supervision from IT and can communicate without direction. When VMs within your all-flash storage communicate with RESTful application program interfaces (APIs) like those available through Tintri Cloud Enterprise, you can automate operations that were previously manual-only. This is what it means to bring the speed of public cloud to your private data center.

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