Japanese reservation service provider turns to AFA to drive business growth

Hotel and restaurant online reservation service provider, IKYU Corporation, operates five large-scale web sites including www.ikyu.com which supports online reservations for more than 1,500 of Japan’s select hotels, resorts and spas. With business expansion, the company wanted to upgrade its existing storage system to support faster processing of multiple concurrent transactions without decreasing the service levels of their online web site.
IKYU calculated it needed one million IOPS to ensure best service delivery to its customers. It eventually chose to deploy the Violin 6000 array from Violin Memory.
According to the IKYU, its online web application improved query response times to deliver immediate request results within a few seconds to support 80 million data reads without caching technology. Batch processing times were eight times faster. Violin all-flash arrays also improved operational efficiency not only with simple processing time reduction, but also with a significant increase in the number of parallel processing threads concurrently executable.
According to Akihito Kanno, CIO with IKYU Corporation, the company originally expected much higher costs to implement an all-flash solution. “We anticipated high implementation costs, but when considering the on-going operational expenses, Violin’s price was not much different than other storage products, yet the solutions offered substantially more performance, density, and resiliency. Moreover, Violin arrays were well-suited with our current server system provider, Stratus Technologies. The result was server system acceleration, improved stability and reduced workload across the system, said Kanno.
The parameters that determine a storage array performance include RAID level, array controller, number of drives in the drive array, storage interface performance and drive performance. While HDD capacities continue to increase about 40 percent annually, its I/O performance has only increased by 2 percent. Traditional HDD-based storage arrays are simply not designed to support low latency requirements of applications purpose-built for online delivery as queries and transactions scale upwards.
According to research from IDC, the use of solid state storage (SSS) in conjunction with solid state drives (SSDs) will play an important role in transforming performance as well as use cases for enterprise application data. IDC's all-SSS array (or all-flash array; AFA for short) market forecast predicts US$1.2 billion in revenue by 2015 with a 58.5 percent CAGR.
Originally recognized for their superior performance over HDD arrays, advances in NAND and software optimization are enabling AFAs to achieve improved consistent performance.
Today more SSD-based solutions are coming to the market. Unfortunately, most are available only in the US. But let this not deter you from comparing notes. Below is a table comparing the different brands and models of AFA. You can also click on the link for the latest update (thanks to IT consultant Chris M. Evans). 

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