Hybrid Flash Array Matters


Check out the new VNX Hybrid Flash Array Calculator

As red hot as the All Flash Array market is, the Hybrid Flash Array market will continue to be >4X the size of the all flash array market through 2018, according to IDC. When you read this, does Mark Twain come to mind? – “Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”.  The hybrid flash array is thriving – SSD capacity shipped, total capacity shipped (SSD/HDD), and market size – are all on the rise, according to IDC.

So what’s a hybrid flash array? It’s simply a storage system that incorporates high performance flash (SSDs) drives along with the economics of high capacity spinning disks (HDDs).

But in the case of EMC’s VNX hybrid flash array there is much more. VNX uses Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) Software to take advantage of the performance of Flash as well as the cost effectiveness of disk by intelligently moving hot and cold data between the FLASH and HDD tiers to drive down the $/GB and $/IOPS and deliver the best price/performance. VNX also leverages a single unified platform for both file and block data services, is optimized for virtualization, and consolidates all mixed workloads including everything from high bandwidth data warehousing, virtual desktops, or more traditional Microsoft or Oracle applications – all from a centralized management console.

But the other cool fact about the VNX hybrid flash array is that it can be flexibly configured to deliver the most optimized use of flash for a mixed workload environment while aggressively addressing the affordability of flash – either as a:

  • Value Optimized System (3% Flash @ <$1/GB*) for general purpose workloads that require the best $/GB, or as a…
  • Balanced System (10% Flash @ <$1.50/GB*) for mixed, virtualized workloads requiring dynamic performance optimization, or as a…
  • Performance Optimized System (25% Flash @ <2.15/GB*) for demanding workloads that require all-flash performance

*Raw Street Price of system and minimum disk configuration

A new VNX Hybrid Flash Array Calculator reflects these options and provides customers with metrics to guide their decision about how to best optimize their VNX for flash based on their workload mix. The Calculator enables you to select Capacity, Growth, and a selection of Workloads and then estimate, for each system scenario (see above), the Performance Distribution and the Available Performance Headroom indicating the potential for including more workloads. After all, just a small percent gain in headroom could mean another 200K IOPS or so!

Read IDC’s hybrid flash array report on how customers are using varied amounts of flash on their VNX systems to consolidate and run mixed application workloads along with the FAST Software to automatically tier their data. Why? VNX hybrid flash arrays give them the opportunity to use as much flash as needed that combines with the economics of spinning disks to deliver the best balance of price, performance, scale, and efficiency.

“Flash in a hybrid array… is the way most people choose to implement solid-state storage.” ComputerWeekly.com October 2014

The VNX Hybrid Flash Calculator is available to show you how an EMC VNX hybrid array can take advantage of more flash when consolidating your application workloads. I hope you check it out.


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