Data centres are undergoing massive transformation to meet increasing demands from the business for faster, more available and more responsive digital processes.
To satisfy these requirements, some organisations are choosing a cloud-first or cloud-only route, through IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. However, many are making their existing on-premise data centres as agile and flexible as possible by transitioning to a software-centric, ‘composable’ infrastructure. This approach makes data centre hardware, middleware and management software much more fluid and flexible.
Composable infrastructure enables organisations to optimise the performance of traditional architectures and workloads, while supporting new, cloud-native apps. It does this by pooling physical data centre resources so they can be managed flexibly through software.
This infrastructure shift is largely down to the need for businesses to adapt faster to ever-changing market conditions. Notably, the demand is coming from the top-down. In a recent study from Frost & Sullivan, 58% of CEOs said that IT infrastructure must support business agility and market responsiveness.
Upgrading to Flash storage
Storage is one key area where immediate data centre efficiencies can be made: by incorporating All-Flash technology, as part of a composable architecture.
An All-Flash Array (AFA) is a high-speed, solid-state storage disk system which uses multiple Flash memory drives instead of spinning hard disk drives. Unlike traditional drives, Flash has no moving parts, and can be written and rewritten rapidly and efficiently. It’s an ideal technology to support today’s data-driven businesses, as it helps organisations improve application uptime, productivity and end-user satisfaction.
AFA/solid state drive usage is set to grow rapidly. Gartner predicts, “Within the next 12 months, solid-state arrays will improve in performance by a factor of 10, and double in density and cost-effectiveness, therefore changing the dynamics of the storage market. By 2021, 50% of data centres will use SSAs for high-performance computing and big data workloads, up from less than 10% today.”
Meanwhile, Flash storage is getting more intelligent. For example, HPE’s predictive All Flash storage is smart enough to eliminate issues before they become apparent, like applications slowing down for example. In business terms, this translates as higher user satisfaction through fast and reliable access to data and applications - both on premise and via the cloud. It also improves business’ ability to adapt, meet changing needs, and act quickly.
IT services firm Claranet has led the way in switching all of its standard storage to HPE 3PAR Flash technology, across three data centres. This means Claranet can now offer its customers higher levels of performance, improved reliability and lower latency.
Simon Robinson, senior vice president at 451 Research, comments that Flash is increasingly popular “because it’s a fast, easy and increasingly affordable way of solving multiple storage ills in one fell swoop – poor/unpredictable performance, complexity and high management overhead. It’s also good for the business in the sense that new applications can be stood up more quickly using existing infrastructure that is able to handle the additional load without impacting performance.”
“Our research indicates that over half of organisations have deployed – or are planning to deploy – an AFA, with this level being much higher in larger organisations, where most now have this technology deployed today.”
Follow this link for more on how HPE’s All-Flash Arrays could help to transform your organisation.