How to Choose an Entry Level Flash Array

The rapid pace of change in the data-driven economy today requires you to have systems that can meet your current and future business demands. When it comes to storage, there is no doubt that flash storage can help you speed up your data-related processes.

For many years, moving to a blazing fast all flash array would have seemed like an appealing and viable option, but only if you had the budget. This usually applied to large enterprises with deep pockets. However, for small and medium businesses, the cost factor (or the perception of higher cost) had always become an issue that held them back from truly modernising their storage infrastructure.

This is no longer the case with the availability of entry-level flash arrays that have made the migration to flash more affordable. Some may view “entry-level” storage as just being cheap, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to skimp on essential capabilities and features.

Here we share a few tips to help you choose the right entry-level flash array to make the most of your investment. If you look deeper, you’ll find that it’s not just about performance.  Other than the price, factors you need to look at when picking an entry-level flash array include:

  • Storage efficiency – Efficiency and data reduction features that come with flash storage, for instance compression, deduplication, compaction, thin provisioning, RAID tiering and snapshots, are important as they help you to store more data into less space and really reduce costs. Different vendors offer different data reduction features, with differing levels of effectiveness.

  • Simplicity – Your storage has to be easy and quick to provision and manage. For example, having built-in workflows for platforms like Oracle, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, VMware could allow you to easily provision new storage systems and integrate with those platforms in a very short amount of time.

  • Consistent performance and easy scalability – We talk a lot about flash performance, but not all flash drives are able to provide consistency in their performance, which can be degraded when data services (like data reduction processes) are underway. It’s also best to get a flash array that can allow you to seamlessly scale-out operations as and when required by the business.

  • Data protection and security – Flash is known to be reliable, but outages or downtime could very well still happen and they can have devastating effects on the business. Make sure that the flash storage that you buy comes with adequate data protection, disaster recovery as well as security features to keep your data safe and secure.

  • Cloud-ready – To truly fast-track your modernisation efforts and be future-ready, choose a flash array that lets you easily integrate, tier and backup your data to the cloud.

Remember to factor all the above when choosing the most suitable flash array to get your organisation’s modernisation efforts on the right track. NetApp’s latest entry-level offering, the AFF C190 is a great example of a flash offering that is not only affordable but checks all the mentioned boxes and can give you access to the proven functionalities that NetApp is best known for.

To find out more about the NetApp C190, click here.

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