Flash Changes More Than I/O

Posted 09/20/2016 by Steve Duplessie

We all know that flash makes things fast. Faster is better. I get it. We all get it. But for all the good flash gives us, it also creates holes we need to fill. It also creates new opportunities.

In no specific order or importance, here are some thoughts:

  • Flash and data copy management are like peanut butter and chocolate. By managing copies more efficiently, we can keep them around on fast flash. That means we can use them for more than a holding place waiting for a recovery operation. We can easily and quickly push them to the Dev team, the test team, the analytics and BI teams, etc. We can take what was a sedentary data set sitting on a shelf and turn it into an active value creating entity.
  • Flash enables data management functions to be “alive” – which in turn means better decisioning, faster problem identification and resolution, faster time to deployment, etc. Faster is better. Nothing is more useless than a cold data set sitting on a shelf doing nothing. Well, few things are more useless. Like the feature of my 2016 Tahoe that says, “Warning, Toll Booth” when you are coming up to a toll booth. Because I wouldn’t know that otherwise.
  • Flash also can create problems. For example, if you are refreshing your kit, you'd be best to look at refreshing/updating your data protection environment, too. And your DR – because flash makes things possible that simply were not possible earlier. If you are only adding flash to make one workload go faster, you’re missing the bigger picture.
  • Flash has the opportunity to alter and improve IT operations across the board. It not only enables apps to run faster, but IT to run faster. When you combine Fast Flash with better data management/copy management capabilities, IT can do things it couldn’t before – at least without negatively impacting production.
  • Now the bad news: Flash isn’t the end all. It’s the beginning of an all solid state storage paradigm. Fast will get faster – it will become RAM. Memory (NVME) technologies will be the next solid state technology to make things even faster. Which means if you are already clinging to old backup architectures, you’ll be even farther behind soon. You need to get onto the data management movement (which INCORPORATES backup/recovery as a function) now, because if flash exposes those weaknesses, NVME running on EVERY machine you support is going to cause sheer chaos.
  • Enjoy!

    ESG's Steve Duplessie is a guest blogger for Commvault.