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Flash is more flexible than you think

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on December 8, 2017 by Arun Kirupananthan

You can’t always get what you want. For example, it’s not always possible to move all your firm’s data to Flash storage. Despite being more affordable than ever, organizations are still slow to adopt Flash and continue to rely on more old-fashioned HDDs. However, the good news is that you can reap massive performance increases with Flash without having to blow your budget. You can even keep your rusty old platter drives.

This is made possible by IBM’s Storwize All-Flash offerings. Like other Flash solutions, they’re fast as anything. Unlike all other Flash solutions, they’re highly flexible. A small investment in Storwize can solve a diverse range of data center issues. To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a few data nightmare scenarios, and how how Storwize can help:

  • A new video editing company, Jackfruit Productions, is doing well, but they’re plagued by performance issues because all of the footage they work with is stored on ancient hardware. Rendering previews and doing post-production work takes an eternity, to the extent that it’s preventing them from taking on more clients.
  • Game company Snowstorm Entertaiming had a popular new online RPG, Planet of Battlecraft, and it’s getting even more popular constantly, which is good. But it’s also getting slower all the time as more people joing up since the company’s servers have to squeeze the ever-increaseing amount of data from the same magnetic drives. More and more players are complaining about load times, and some are even quitting.
  • At the Univeristy of Examplestan, the climate science department has a massive data center. It houses all information about all the weather that’s ever happened so the climatologists can run compliacated models. However, because of their old slow storage, which they keep using for some reason, crunching the numbers takes forever. The brilliant staff just sits around staring at the monitors, wasting the university’s money and their time.

All of these problems can be addressed with IBM’s Spectrum Virtualization Family, which lets you squeeze the highest possible performance out of all your hardware. It allows you to reconfigure your data center in a tiered fashion, using your shiny new Flash only when it’s needed most. You just add some Storwize Flash, use it for your high-availability data, watch performance soar, and keep all of your old architecture for the less frequently accessed data. Now, in all three of the aforementioned scenarios, we get what we want.

  • Jackfruit Production adopts Flash and uses it for all the footage they’re currently editing while putting everything else on their old hard drives. As a result, processing happens much faster, and the editors actually do better work, because they can achieve a nice state of flow when the train of thought isn’t being constantly interrupted.
  • The clever developers are at Snowstorm move all the data that’s most needed for high-speed gameplay to Flash – layouts of popular dungeons and elf sounds and such. This improves gameplay, and it also allows them to expand in a more agile fashion in the future because IBM Storwize is device-agnostic. It lets administrators supplement their capabilities with whatever hardware they want.
  • Back in Examplestan, the administrators put all the recent climate data in Flash and leave everything else in archival storage. This massively improves calculations speeds, allowing the scientists to do more modeling. They publish more papers and win all the relevant prices.

If Storwize can help in all of these scenarios, it can probably help your firm, too. (And, for more examples of Storwize in action, watch this charming video.)

For a limited time, Softchoice is offering a promotion on eligible IBM Storwize Flash drives. Click the banner below to learn more.

Interested in learning insights and real-life wins with flash storage strategies? Sign up for our upcoming webinar on February 7th 2018

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