Authored by: Joanne Weng, Senior Sales Manager (HQ), Synology Inc.
Traditional HDD storage arrays are quickly giving way to all-flash arrays (AFA) as businesses need the low latency and high IOPS provided by solid-state drives to store growing pools and new types of data for increasingly demanding applications. However, choosing suitable servers is not always easy.
All-flash storage is designed for high-performance applications, placing high demands on product innovation and stability. For many businesses and teams, that often translates to prices that stretch their IT budget. However, AFA arrays provide tangible benefits that can boost your operational efficiency and competitiveness.
Cost is a major obstacle to purchasing their first AFA solution for many companies. Will new IT infrastructure bring enough value to your company? And how fast will your investment repay itself? Luckily, with more vendors entering the market, prices and total cost of ownership for flash arrays are on a downward trend.
Synology is one vendor producing innovative all-flash storage servers at attractive price points. Compared with other brands, its products distinguish themselves by hardware improvements and an easy-to-navigate operating system that brings powerful features within reach of businesses of all sizes.
Access to flash storage can have important benefits for your business. A look at three organisations shows us how cost-effective AFA storage can make all the difference in three types of applications:
1. Unstructured data storage and analysis
IDC projections show that by 2025, more than 80% of data worldwide could be unstructured. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a massive increase in the generation of unstructured data and demands for efficient processing and analysis.
Real-time analysis, accessing, storage, and sharing of such data demands storage systems with consistently high random read and write speeds.
Palmaz Vineyards in Northern California developed its own deep learning algorithm to collect brewing data, including environmental factor analysis and fermentation rates. However, with a single fermentation barrel generating up to 1GB of data per hour and the system constantly crosschecking data from various years, a fast and low-latency was crucial to not slow down analysis.
Palmaz Vineyards decided to deploy Synology FlashStation all-flash storage for its fast input/output performance, low latency, high availability, and easy expandability. The Synology arrays’ high IOPS allow the company to access and analyse up to 70% of the data generated in real time.
2. Unleashing faster virtual machine performance
All-flash arrays are especially well-suited to storage for enterprise databases, virtual applications, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Using flash arrays for key databases can significantly boost data processing speed. Financial, medical, and other services with high data processing, indexing, search, and reporting requirements all heavily rely on flash arrays to meet performance requirements.
To meet legal obligations, the central Human Resources department at Taishin Financial Holding, a major Taiwanese financial services provider, is every day required to verify large volumes of instant verification requests for more than 8000 employees though its human resources system and website.
To cope with the demands of fast verification, the department decided to move its databases and virtual machine storage off its existing SAS HDD array and to an all-flash solution. After deploying Synology FlashStations, it managed to boost the system’s average transactions from 56 to 380 per second, delivering the higher volume and speed required for efficient operations.
3. Boosting video production efficiency and I/O performance
All-flash storage has rapidly become a standard in film and TV production. The render farm at Taiwan’s National Centre for High-Performance Computing assists video and film production studios with the production of high-quality animation and special effects simulation for live-action and animated films.
In 2018, the render farm planned to move from 2D to 3D rendering and provide its services online to production teams around Taiwan. To adapt to the new mission, Synology FlashStation storage arrays were deployed to push up I/O performance, improve handling of multi-user workloads, accelerate rendering rates, cut waiting times and boost the data replication speed from about 40 to only a few minutes.
By deploying FlashStation, the centre managed speed up its performance up to four times compared with the original infrastructure.
Select suitable all-flash storage and don’t overspend
Purchasing all-flash solutions that offer extreme I/O performance can be a waste of resources if what you need is more moderate specifications. Applications such as ERP software, databases, and mail servers tend to require higher performance with up to 2,500 IOPS, while website hosting and software development typically can do with 100 to 250 IOPS.
After assessing their requirements, businesses looking to invest in all-flash arrays should set a benchmark for screening and perform a proof-of-concept for each unit they consider to evaluate whether their I/O performance and data protection needs are met in an operational setting at an acceptable price.
Accurately assessing company needs is the first step to successful deployment of all-flash storage and ultimately maximising your use of enterprise data.