We asked survey respondents to identify the most important features when purchasing solid-state/flash storage technology. At 49%, solid-state/flash storage capacity ranked highest among the various product attributes.
- Deduplication and compression capabilities -- both were selected by respondents as important product features -- allow organizations to pack more data into less space. "Now, there's no reason a hard drive-based system couldn't use the deduplication and compression technically. The problem is there could be a performance issue, because now [you're] adding even more random I/O, as [you] try to figure out what [data] is unique and things like that," Crump said.
- When compared with hard drives, flash is denser technology, with more raw capacity in less space.
- Customers can also run at higher percentages of capacity with flash than they can from hard drives. "In a flash environment, there's no penalty for running at very high levels of utilization. So, where in a hardware environment, [you] might run at 20% of capacity, in a flash environment, it wouldn't be uncommon for [you] to run at 70% of capacity," he said.
Other important features that Crump noted included a system that is optimized to complement the performance capabilities of the flash storage itself. "[The system] needs to have a good design, so the data itself doesn't become a bottleneck to the performance of the system." Additionally, quality of service, he said, is becoming an important feature in hybrid arrays, as well as all-flash arrays.
After solid-state/flash storage capacity, next in line for important product features was the capability of writing I/O, cited by 45% of respondents. This was followed by the capability of reading I/O, cited by 39%.