|By Gil Allouche||
|February 28, 2014 01:11 PM EST||
Flash storage is revolutionizing the way enterprise stores, processes and accesses important data. As opposed to the old methods of storage, most notably hard disks, flash storage is faster and consumes less energy. Flash devices also don't require the amount of space that other technologies do. This is seen in everything from small personal handheld devices to enterprise scale storage systems, such as Hadoop in the Cloud.
Enterprise grade flash stands out from the type of flash storage used on a personal scale in that it is even faster, more durable, and more reliable. These benefits have been known for many years, yet flash was avoided by many companies, particularly because of its high costs. Now, however, several companies have stepped forward as vendors for flash, providing affordable and realistic services. The following are companies that have made the strongest impact. Each of them has established research and development flash laboratories in order to stay on the cutting edge of the technology.
This company has a long history of providing some of the best technologies in the realm of memory and processing. They were ahead of the game when they brought less expensive flash storage, or SSD’s (Solid State Drives) to PC’s all the way back in 2009. While prices were still high for many companies a new product in 2011 dropped the price of SSDs by 20-30%. They continue to be a strong leader in the industry.
Samsung has emerged as one of the top providers of memory storage, especially in the world of high end enterprise markets. Their high performance SSD, known as the SM1625, is especially fit for companies with high volume databases. They have also introduced what they refer to as “green” SSD’s. Flash storage has also been known for its ability to consume less energy. Samsung’s line of SSD’s runs 14 times faster than traditional hard disk methods and only consumes 10% of the power a hard drive would. For enterprises with large storage facilities, this could translate into significant savings in the long run.
Dell has also been instrumental in lowering the cost of flash storage and providing an easy to use system for enterprise. They claim to offer 2x the price advantage over hybrid systems and 5x the price advantage over competing all-flash systems. Their technology includes automated intelligent data tiering, which keeps hot data on high performance flash drives and cold data on high capacity disk drives. It automated tools and easy to use interface are useful for enterprises that want to use data frequently but can’t afford the time or money to do so.
SanDisk is most often associated with personal USB flash drives, and in fact that is how they established their name. However, the company has also made strides in providing enterprise level flash storage. In 2011, they purchased the SSD manufacturer Pliant, thereby staking their claim in the enterprise market. SanDisk has mainly targeted their products to the media and entertainment industries. Their products offer larger data capacities than many others as well as very high speeds, that may be less necessary for other markets. That’s not to say they haven’t branched out. They also provide SSD products for large scale data warehousing, email, online transactions, and videos.
While companies like SanDisk tend to specialize in storage, Toshiba is all over the map. The company has established itself as a quality provider for an array of products ranging from computers to other personal electronic devices. Like these devices, their flash products are set at a more affordable price than many competitors. Their SSD enterprise level storage products come in two basic forms. One is their MKx0001GRZB and the other, which functions at a higher performance and storage capacity, is the PX02SM