May - 2014 - issue > CXO View Point

Dealing With Criticalities of Data Storage & Access with Flash

Santhosh D'Souza, Director- Systems Engineering, NetApp Marketing & Services Pvt. Ltd India
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Santhosh D'Souza, Director- Systems Engineering, NetApp Marketing & Services Pvt. Ltd India
NetApp India Marketing & Services is a division of NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP). It is a provider of storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. The company currently has a market cap of Rs. 70,820.09 crore.

With better communication technologies and global outreach, businesses around the world are scaling up very fast. Particularly in India and China, enterprises have huge customer base compared to other nations. With hundreds of millions of customers interacting with the enterprises today, there is a constant amount of data that has been created and consumed on the enterprise IT environment. Interactions between the enterprise and its ecosystem, be it customers, employees or other stakeholders, are compelling organizations to be highly responsive to their ecosystems. There is a need to evaluate a different physical medium that has significantly better latency and responsiveness characteristics on which the data can be stored and provided. This is where 'Flash' can make a significant contribution.

Increased generation and consumption of data presents a challenge and an opportunity for almost every sector of the economy and society. NetApp has observed a 300 percent increase in cluster data adoption which is an exciting time globally as well as for India. Enterprises are gearing up with the latest of technology iterations in providing a platform to combat data insufficiencies for mission critical environments. These platforms are sophisticated enough to provide not only unification of data but capabilities to support SAN and NAS protocols. Data is not anymore in the small leagues of Gigabytes but has scaled up to manage not only capacity but performance through a modular approach in terms of Peta bytes.

Achieving High Reliability with Flash
We have seen an increase in the adoption of flash at appropriate places in the data path for very compelling reasons. The technical difference prompting interest in flash is obviously the latency characteristics. Data stored in the flash medium can be accessed in terms of in time that is measured in terms of microseconds. Whereas the traditional hard disk drives medium, have latency characteristics more on the milli-seconds timeframe. Flash delivers a significant improvement in latency. This means that a variety of applications where latency and responsiveness are the critical factors in ensuring enterprise and business success can adopt flash. The nuances are that flash can be inserted at various points in a data path. For instance, if a single application or a single server needs to be provided fast data access, we can insert flash on the data server side itself.

NetApp has a comprehensive flash portfolio across all cores of these used cases. In the FAS8000 series that we have introduced recently, there are extraordinary flash cache capabilities that go up to around 260 odd terabytes of flash capacity on the largest model. In enterprises, particularly in the banking and financial services and telecom sector, flash can make a huge difference to the mission critical application environments where the application is constantly interacting with users. Response times are very critical in ensuring that the data reaches end devices as fast as possible and flash can be a game changer here. There are specific application areas and specific verticals that can benefit from adopting flash at appropriate place in the data path.

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share on facebook