As cloud computing continues its rapid expansion, many are wondering how best to improve it. Most of the conversation is usually geared towards improving cloud performance, particularly when it comes to data storage. Considering how important data has become in just the past few years, it’s clear to see why this has become such an intense focus within the cloud community. Big Data has exploded onto the scene, and cloud providers need to find ways to handle all the extra storage and processing needs that come with it. That’s where flash storage may prove to be the solution the experts have been looking for. Performance needs are increasing at a high rate, and traditional hard disk drives may simply be inadequate for the current and future needs of a typical cloud environment.
Upgrades are necessary and having fast access to data is practically a requirement at this point for most businesses. Cloud providers that fail to deliver on this demand risk losing business and folding. In order to get that higher and faster performance, many cloud providers are turning to flash storage. When comparing flash storage with HDD, performance is one aspect where flash shines above the competition. The one major drawback is the higher cost one has to pay for that improved performance. However, that cost has quickly been declining, and some experts even predict flash storage will reach a comparative price level with HDD at some time in the near future. If the price point becomes less of an issue, organizations can expect cloud providers to embrace flash without question.
A higher performance isn’t the only benefit cloud vendors hope to gain from flash storage. More potential lies in attributes such as availability, reliability, and more cost-effective scalability. These attributes aren’t necessarily inherent in flash storage, but they are aspects that tech companies are working on to make flash more acceptable for vendors to use. Factors like reliability are particularly important, since providers want to cut down on unneeded downtime to ensure their customers will always have access to all their data and applications. Flash is also becoming more efficient as overall storage density increases with the development of new technologies such as 3D NAND now becoming a more regular feature.
As cloud providers still work to find out everything they can about what flash storage is, they’ll quickly realize how beneficial it can be when it comes to using Big Data. Higher performance and greater scalability are necessary elements in today’s world, and cloud vendors will need to use this developing technology to fully take advantage of it. It’s likely that providers will use some kind of combination of flash and traditional storage techniques at first, but over time, a full transition to flash storage will take place. As prices come down at the same time, flash will be more accessible and become an important component of cloud environments for years to come.
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