All-Flash or Hybrid Flash: What’s best for my Data Infrastructure?

There’s a data storage crisis coming. Data is doubling in size every two years, and it can be more valuable than government-issued currencies. The size, value, and speed of data has contributed to the rise of both cybercrime and cybersecurity. Storing data securely, therefore, is key to a seamless business experience.

To secure data electronically, flash storage retains media designed to be electronically erased and reprogrammed. Flash changed computing because it did away with rotational delay and seek time. It permitted responses at radically faster times than a traditional spinning disk. Flash is at the edge of storage operation technology.

Data storage is not a one-size-fits-all solution. As Orlando Scott-Cowley of Mimecast says, “Companies first need to understand the amount and type of data they have along with the motivation behind storing the information.”

What storage area network (SAN) is best for you and your infrastructure? Let’s consider the flash deployment options and see what the best choice for you and your clients might be – all-flash or hybrid-flash.

What is All-Flash Data Deployment?

An All-Flash Array (AFA) – sometimes called a SSA or Solid State Array – is a type of data storage that holds many Flash memory drives. In AFA, there are no moving parts. That means, the array uses less power, requires less maintenance, and generates less heat than other storage options. It also provides a quicker performance rate with less downtime and less need for hands-on attention by IT personnel.

All-Flash deployment is quickly morphing into the new standard for enterprise IT.  All-Flash brings numerous benefits to industries such as health care. These benefits include its speed but also its resilience and remote-friendly nature. All-Flash Arrays can also handle an unusually heavy workload.

What is Hybrid Storage Deployment?

A classic definition of a Hybrid Flash Array is a combination of data storage units using storage media of two or more types, including one of Flash storage and another which could be one of several options. In some environments, enterprises use hybrid as a mid-point option on a move from a spinning disk storage to All-Flash Deployment. In other cases, hybrid is simply considered the best option for that particular environment.

Which Environment Is Ideal for All-Flash Deployment?

Some environments benefit from having an All-Flash Deployment as the center of the data infrastructure while using a Hybrid Storage Deployment as a backup solution.

An All-Flash Array offers the major benefit of sustaining high performance levels while reducing costs comparative to a spinning disk drive storage system. What does that mean for the user? Dramatic improvements in response time to each transaction processed. It also means reducing variance to near-zero levels, enhancing the overall consumer experience.

Hence, an All-Flash Array is a great choice for companies working in highly regulatory industries such as finance and health care. Other industries – those that process but don’t retain massive amounts of data – also appreciate an All-Flash Array.

Which Environment is Ideal for Hybrid Storage Deployment?

With All-Flash Array offering so many benefits to data storage companies, who needs hybrid deployment?

Actually, hybrid storage environments produce many benefits. For example, they improve storage utilization, maximize performance, and streamline data management. You get the benefits of managing your stored data with a single tool, can improve performance by adding flash to the front end, and can eliminate excess work in order to focus on the strategic use of data. Plus, hybrid storage is a great interim step for enterprises looking to move from storage using a spinning disk system to storage that relies on an All-Flash Array.

According to Peak10, 61% of organizations would intentionally choose a hybrid environment if starting from scratch. It offers the speed, agility, and innovation of a cloud while keeping some systems – particularly legacy systems – on site.

Final thoughts

Data storage using flash will soon be standard in all environments. The question of hybrid vs All-Flash, however, is best decided by the individual company.