Should My Server Have Flash Storage?

In enterprise IT, Flash is a very popular topic. Traditionally, flash storage has been reserved for mobile devices, but more recently it has found its way into servers and even on network devices.

Flash storage can serve a number of purposes:

  1. Replacing or supplementing the hard drive. This type of flash storage is often called a Solid State Drive on a server.

  2. Serving as a cache device to increase speed. This cache can be on the hard drive, on an I/O card, on a network devices, or sitting between the server and the network. Flash cache can significantly increase speed and help avoid bottlenecks.

Because flash is still somewhat new, there are some reason not to use it.

  1. It is still more expensive than traditional storage, such as hard disk drives

  2. Flash memory is known to degrade over time, though it is not clear just how fast this will occur or if it is even a realistic concern.

Flash has many benefits, particularly in the area of server caching. If cost is not a concern, it may certainly be worth your consideration.