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The role of flash storage in enterprise IT

Thanks to flash, the storage market is in upheaval. According to 451 Research analysts, the sales of all-flash arrays (AFAs) is growing at double-digit annualized rates. Flash is supplanting for the incapability of the HDDs to keep up with the need for high performance and availability commonplace in organizations of every size.

Flash costs continue to plummet, making AFAs realistic for more types of businesses

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The seemingly free-fall in the flash prices are the prime reason behind flash overtaking HDD technology. While a 240GB SSD may cost somewhere around $160, flash storage for the same would cost around $60. The cost of solid-state drives has reduced to the point where many enterprises can now truly consider all-flash arrays. Advances in SSD reliability, performance, and capacity have contributed to this lower price point.

Hard drives have maxed out their performance, but flash has not.

The 3 NAND flash is seen as the biggest revolution in memory technology in more than 40 years. Meanwhile, HDD technology is near the point of hitting the performance wall, even after advances such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). 3D NAND adds vertical layers of storage tiers—up to 64 at present—on top of the NAND die, which enables the chip to scale to much higher densities than have previously been possible with so-called planar NAND. Surpassing the storage density of HDDs, flash technology is also 1,000 times faster.

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