Orgs can cut costs with flash migration: HDS
Hitachi Data Systems argues for solid-state storage as long-term cash-saving measure
Organisations can make savings long-term by adopting flash storage, Hitachi Data Systems' chief technology officer told ITP.net.
Bob Plumridge, CTO, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, HDS, met with ITP.net during a visit to Dubai for IDC's CIO Summit, where he took part in a panel discussion.
Plumridge explained that HDS has run cost and performance audits for "about 100 to 120 customers" in the EMEA region and has advised them on ways to reduce operational expenditure.
Flash, or solid-state, storage is expensive compared with magnetic hard drives because the manufacturing costs of the electronic units are higher. As a consumer, SSDs come in smaller capacities for considerably greater prices.
The technology gives enviable access speeds, but is prohibitively expensive when seeking larger volumes. PC vendors have compromised by building hybrid storage systems, where operating systems load from the flash portion and data retrieval is from an HDD, augmented by a cache system.
But for enterprises, Plumridge explains, sufficiently scaled operations can benefit from migrating to flash.
"There are three main areas where flash storage can cut costs," he says. "One is power consumption, because nothing's spinning; so on a per-gigabyte basis, your power consumption is lower. Your heat output is therefore a lot lower. And you can get a lot more [flash storage devices] into a given floor space."
But on that scale, won't costs spiral out of control?
"Flash will cost more," he says, "but the savings on power and cooling over a three-year period, will offset the additional cost.
"The other issue here, which I wouldn't say is intangible but is harder to price, is that flash is much faster. So if the service you are providing to your customers is faster, can you gain more business? Some organisations can quantify that. Typically we've found stock traders [to be a good example]. If they can give you a stock price half a second before the people next door can, they're more likely to get your business."