Data centres with volumes above 80 TB may be more cost-effective if they use flash memory in the place of traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), according to one expert.
Eric Burgener, a research director at International Data Corporation (IDC), made the claim in a recent whitepaper sponsored by Violin Memory, Computer Weekly reports.
Flash memory – which is used in smartphones and tablets, as well as solid-state drives – is demonstrably faster and more efficient than HDDs. However, the cost per GB is higher, at around $1.25 (£0.81) rather than $0.70 (£0.45), Mr Burgener said.
Nonetheless, his analysis revealed that at data centre volumes exceeding 80 to 90 TB, the other advantages of flash memory start to justify the extra outlay.
These include speed, with flash drives capable of delivering 10,000 to 20,000 input/output operations per second compared to just 180 to 200 for traditional HDDs.
Moreover, they use “roughly half the energy” of electromechnical drives, Mr Burgener added, which translates to a saving of $150,000 on power and cooling at the 80 to 90 TB mark over four years.
“People need to look at the secondary economic benefits of flash when calculating TCO [total cost of ownership],” he wrote. “And if you can do mixed workload operations to 80TB or 90TB, you can probably achieve significantly better TCO than with HDDs.”
According to a separate IDC forecast, more than 60 per cent of primary storage spend will be on flash memory by 2019.
The transition will not be without its challenges, however, as data recovery is a very different proposition from flash than from HDDs, and one that enterprises will need to be prepared for.
It is wise to choose a data recovery company who has a track record in recovering from the type of data loss you have experienced.