IT Trends: Disk- and Memory-Based Storage

I’m noticing an interesting trend in the storage industry: A “polarization” of storage solutions. Customers are investing in systems that are either extremely economical or provide extreme performance, but not much in between. In other words, traditional disk-based tiered strategies seem to be going on the back burner. Dynamix offers spectacular IBM storage solutions that prove to be both economical and provide extreme performance.

IBM XIV: Unmatched economics

XIV is enterprise class storage system that is built around very dense hard drives (currently 6TB). Typically, using such high-density drives slows down a storage system—but not XIV! XIV has documented performance in excess of 180,000 IOPS. Just check out the SPC results here. I can’t think of another architecture that can match that performance.

With XIV you not only get great performance out of extremely dense hard drives, but also have the ability to compress data. IBM recently released Real Time Compression on XIV. If you can achieve a conservative compression ratio of 2x, it’s like getting twice the storage for the same price or half. Talk about unmatched economics!

IBM XIV is an ideal solution for many of our healthcare customers because it is the only disk storage system that enables you to get high performance out of very dense, yet economical, drives. Another popular feature of XIV in the healthcare industry is Hyperscale Mobility. Hyperscale Mobility allows hospitals to remain online while data is migrated, which is critical in an environment with near zero downtime requirements.

Next year, XIV has some exciting updates coming out. Gen4 will be released in early 2016 and, although I can’t disclose all of the exciting details yet, I can tell you we will see even more of a merge between speed and economics with this release.

IBM Flash: The fastest storage on the planet

Most flash systems utilize solid-state drives (SSD) to achieve high performance. IBM’s Flash System uses memory boards. By eliminating the need for the memory board to emulate a disk drive (like an SSD does), IBM has raised the bar for performance. SSDs still measure performance in milliseconds, whereas memory boards consistently achieve sub-millisecond response times. If it needs to be fast, take a look at IBM Flash!

Flash is beginning to evolve in the marketplace as well. Just a few years ago, when flash storage was a relatively new concept, most customers were deploying systems only to solve specific problems such as database bottlenecks or VDI boot storms. Flash carried a premium price, so it was leveraged as a specialized solution. Now that the price is steadily coming down and data reduction technologies (such as compression and dedup) are becoming commonplace, Flash is starting to become more strategic. At some point in the next year or two, all Tier 1 storage will reside on flash and everything else will end up on a system with extreme economics—such as XIV.

Want to talk about how we can leverage disk- and/or memory-based storage for your IT environment? Comment below or contact me directly. 

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