Why Flash for SLED?- Budget, People, and Projects

Budget, people, and new projects are three pillars that SLED customers attempt to juggle daily. SLED organizations aim to drive efficiencies within their data centers to both reduce cost and ease the burden explosive data growth has placed on them. For example, higher education is exploring ways to consolidate research on campus, and research typically requires high performance storage. NetApp’s current EF540 and future FlashRay line both deliver high performance (EF540 delivers more than 300,000 IOPs per system), and FlashRay will integrate into existing NetApp environments. They drive down costs with efficiency, deliver high performance workload storage, and simplify storage to unburden the Admin/FTE.

In our work with SLED customers, we have learned that 80-90 percent of the overall storage is either never accessed once it is written or is only accessed occasionally. The other 10-20% of data requires fast access. For the majority of our customers, our NetApp FAS solutions are driving rapid growth. But there is a set of applications such as HPC that doesn’t require the tools we built into Data ONTAP, such as replication and cloning. HPC requires speed, which is what the NetApp EF540 and FlashRay solutions deliver. Applications such as VDI and video are ideal for these solutions as well.

For other SLED applications that may not necessarily need performance all of the time, Solid State can be used as a caching layer that sits between cost effective SATA drives and the host application. I call this our Adaptive Solid State Solution: NetApp solutions adapt to SLED performance requirements as the customers’ environments evolve. NetApp’s Solid State Storage offerings provide solutions that are targeted for HPC, VDI, and OLTP type environments, delivering the best cost and performance.

Solid State is exciting. I regularly discuss with SLED customers that Solid State is the reason why tiering is a trend. If a customer can keep the majority of its data on cost-effective SATA drives and deliver performance through Solid State caching, why would they need tiering? But when high performance is required, you need a solution like EF540 and FlashRay.

Bob Burwell, CTO, State, Local Government and Education, NetApp U.S. Public Sector