At the risk of stating the obvious, flash storage is a pretty big deal in the data storage world. The introduction of solid state drives (SSD) has changed the way we manage and store data on our computers and in our enterprise storage environments. Data storage giants like EMC and NetApp have met the demands for flash storage with a variety of hybrid flash and all flash array options.
With SSD drives becoming a more popular storage solution the question of whether to use SSD drives in your data center has quickly changed to when should you implement SSD drives in your data center.
With that being said, we’re here to give you a few dos and don’ts when it comes to implementing SSD drives.
DON’T: Deploy Flash Storage Without a Storage Strategy
Every drive type serves a purpose and has its own intricacies that make them unique. Take those characteristics into account when making changes to your storage strategy.
Sure SSD drives have the ability to boost performance in your data center, but does that mean you should get rid of every other drive and only use flash? Even if you are one of the companies that has the resources and budget for a change like that it may not be the best move. Instead try to allocate flash storage in a way that considers growth, capacity needs, and overall storage strategy.
DO: Know Your Storage Environment
There are a variety of storage infrastructure models to choose from. Whether you’re taking a hyperconverged or software-defined storage approach, it is paramount that you take it into consideration before purchasing SSD drives.
The amount of flash storage options available can seem overwhelming. Different manufacturers list performance metrics a certain way which can skew your research when it comes to implementing SSD drives.
Using your storage infrastructure to narrow down the right drive can be more of a help than just relying on tech specs and price points.
DON’T: Throw High Performance SSD Drives at Archived Data
Is faster better? In some cases, yes. But when it comes to using flash storage in your data center you want to use it as efficiently as possible. Data that isn’t accessed as frequently doesn’t need the same performance boost. SATA and NL-SAS drives are a better fit for backup and archive.
Tiering this data, automatically or manually, allows you to get the most bang for your buck and maximize SSD performance by using flash where you need it most. Learn more about automated storage tiering here.
DO: Separate Capacity and Performance
Doing a little bit of research and finding the applications that suffer from performance issues can help tremendously when purchasing SSD drives. Track down the performance bottleneck culprit when deciding on flash storage.
Maybe you work in IT for a healthcare provider. So, your medical records database may need all the flash storage it can get. On the other hand, maybe there’s a great deal of data that hasn’t been accessed in months. This is the data that should be kept on capacity hard disk drives like SATA or NL-SAS.
Separating capacity and performance allows you to take a more cost-effective approach. Instead of adding SSD drives to your entire array which can be costly, you purchase SSD drives and allocate them where you need them most.
DON’T: Be Overwhelmed by the Amount of Information about Flash Storage
The lure of an all flash approach can be tempting. Storage vendors can feed you a large amount of performance metrics that sound great. This can be tricky because storage manufacturers vary in configurations, block sizes, and workloads.
Understanding your specific performance needs can help you make the most educated decision for your data center.
DO: Reach out to Reliant Technology
Need more information on SSD drives and ways to implement flash storage in your storage array? As the World’s #1 Reseller of Certified Pre-Owned Storage Hardware & Support, we can help you craft a flash solution that fits your needs. Reach out to one of our storage specialists at 1.877.227.0828.