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The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of SSD

November 01, 2017

The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of SSD

While the long life of SSDs is a constant beneficial refrain, enterprises may not be seeing that the predictable end of life of SSDs after a certain number of write cycles is also a hidden benefit. The ability for enterprise data centers to plan around that predictability can make for more accurate cost analysis for enterprise data centers. Rather than being a negative, this aspect enables far easier data center management.

Clearly, the movement toward all-flash storage technology, continues to accelerate among enterprises. That being said, not all data need to be stored permanently on flash to reap their benefits. Enterprises can be shown how even a small amount of flash storage can be a major performance booster.

When used in combination with traditional hard disk drive (HDD) technology, SSDs can be used as a read-cache or as a read/write tier to accelerate application performance. The benefits of SSD as far as better application performance is a given when flash storage is located in an external storage array. What is becoming increasingly obvious is that the acceleration can be far more dramatic when it's located in the server, closer to the processor.

The speed of SSDs is clear, but it is a subjective measurement that depends on how you are using them. For example, for If random access IO, such as for a SQL database, a SSD can deliver as much as 80,000 IOPS, compared to the 300 IOPS of even the best HDD.

Other scenarios may show smaller improvement gaps. For example, looking at HDDs and SSDs being used for surveillance video streaming may show a difference of 500 MBPS for an SSD versus 120 MBPS for a typical bulk hard drive. That’s still very significant for enterprises, and it’s up to the VAR to understand the use scenario in order to properly quantify the specific speed benefits for the client.

These substantial increases, when taken from abstraction to actual user environment scenarios, can have a profound impact on the ability to close the sale. That level of understanding imparted to a client also builds a stronger bridge for future sales when the client knows you understand its needs.

There are more than just the benefits of SSD as they pertain to things like application performance and speed in specific scenarios that are very important to enterprise IT organizations. What cannot be overlooked is the fact that SSDs can generally deliver more with less across all types of performance parameters. This is also a major benefit of SSDs that is not as obvious. The ability to repurpose servers or avoid major upgrades saves labor, headaches, and money and appeals to both the CFO and the internal IT teams.

The understanding that SSDs are not monolithic in terms of their use across all scenarios is clear to every client. The benefits of SSDs are equally diverse, which requires that VARs be able to dig a little deeper and show what those benefits are in tangible terms for each client and its particular scenario. Those that cultivate this deeper knowledge and understanding hold an important key to their greater and ongoing success in the marketplace by better serving their current and potential enterprise clients.