For decades, it has been traditional in both business and computing circles to evaluate IT solutions for storage based solely on the amount of storage being discussed. First, the megabyte was the new kid on the block, generating excitement, only to give way to the gigabyte and now the terabyte, with no end in sight. Many businesses now, however, are beginning to realize that a proper analysis of their storage needs and solutions is actually a multi-dimensional issue that needs to incorporate considerations other than size.
Chief among these additional considerations are two additional ways to evaluate storage solutions: energy consumption and performance. To serve a company's overall needs, storage solutions need to be both fast and efficient as well as of an adequate size. Bigger, as it turns out, is not always better. For some applications, businesses are better served by storage media that can deliver lightning-fast exchanges of data while consuming very little in terms of electrical draw.
Adding Flash to the Mix
One strategy is to combine the use of flash memory with hard disk drives. This allows users to move information temporarily into flash devices, and then later transfer it back to disk when the need for fast access is over. This approach requires less total hard drive space than trying to provision all I/O requests via hard drives alone, yet delivers the fast speed some business applications need, all without undue wear and tear on the disk.
Working with an IT consulting firm is an excellent way to explore the storage strategies that might best suit your particular needs.