SSDs for the Enterprise? Absolutely.

by Jeff V. on September 20, 2011

Home  power users have known about solid-state drives (SSDs) for a few years now. At 18 times the cost of a standard hard drive, they are expensive. They have nowhere near the storage capacity (yet) that HDs can offer. They’re way up on the commoditization curve, and won’t be down with HDs for quite some time. So they’re really ready for the enterprise? Absolutely.

Here’s Lucas Mearian for Computerworld on how the sheer speed of SSDs provides real bottom-line value for corporations:

Tony Edlebrock, senior systems administrator with Tuscon Electric, said NetApp’s flash cards, called Performance Acceleration Modules (PAM), boosted the performance his PeopleSoft and Oracle customer care and billing reporting system to the point that it cut the nightly batch process in half, from from between 8 and 12 hours to 4 to 6 hours.

Speed aside (and speed alone is hard to justify SSDs because of the still sky-high price), what else drives SSD adoption in the enterprise, especially the datacenter? If you said virtualization, give yourself a cookie.

One data center advancement driving the adoption of solid-state storage is virtualization. As server density and utilization rates climb, I/O bandwidth bottlenecks, Wong said.

Virtual desktop infrastructures, where hundreds or thousands of machines are all booting from a virtualized server farm, come up against I/O constraints. So, instead of utilizing traditional spinning disks, data center mangers are rolling out flash as boot drives in their servers. The SSDs hold the basic operating systems and meta file data.

Before you call your hardware team and order boxloads of SSDs, read Mearian’s full article about how enterprises are using SSDs in particular use cases. Lots of detail and interesting ideas, especially as it relates to changine the performance of rote functions.

These are the future, no question. All everyone is waiting for is reduced pricing and increased capacity.

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