If you’re in the storage business you realize that NVMe is the next big transformation coming. This technology promises ultra-fast applications due to a significant decrease in data access latency versus HDDs (and even today’s SSDs!). NVMe will be like switching on “ludicrous-speed” for these leading-edge applications, and this will fuel next-gen businesses for those driven to use innovation as a competitive weapon. These ludicrous-mode applications are destined to change entire market segments in ways we can hardy imagine today.
Industry experts are surprised by the rapid transformation to All Flash Arrays (AFFs) in today’s data centers. Solid state storage deployments continue at a blistering rate which all but guarantees the demise of hard disk drives (HDDs) as a viable storage solution except for niche applications like near-line storage.
It is not often that technology migrations are this efficient, but the displacement of HDDs by SSDs is extraordinary. And it shows what can happen when the industry leaders “get it right”, like the SSD vendors did with enterprise flash. These extremely risk-adverse storage professionals wanted an “easy button” to the next level of performance. And that is exactly what the SSD vendors did for the enterprise storage teams. They made the transformation trivial, with plug and play functionality and low risk, which made AFAs extremely attractive across the world’s data centers.
Now, there is no doubt NVMe technology will transform the storage industry once again like SSDs did to HDDs.
For years, IT leaders and storage professionals have been challenged to deploy new technologies which accelerate key organizational objectives in response to the exploding “digital economy”. But it is imperative they also manage and minimize infrastructure complexity, cost, and most importantly - risk.
Fortunately, NVMe, like the early SSDs, was designed specifically for the storage environment. It was built to leverage and seamlessly co-exist in the existing SAN infrastructure; meaning IT professionals can deploy the technology with very low risk and then “stand up” new applications as the business needs arise. Even if ultra-low latency applications may not be ready for a year or two from now, with proper planning the storage infrastructure can be fully prepared to accelerate the migration when it is required by the marketplace.
Where do IT leaders begin? First, the organization must strategically architect a modern storage infrastructure needed for tomorrow’s digital businesses, based on AFA storage and NVMe networking. Start your storage upgrade with an NVMe-capable AFA such as NetApp’s A-series family of storage solutions. Simultaneously, when upgrading to solid state storage, deploy a modern storage network that is NVMe-ready, such as Brocade’s Gen 6/NVMe switching infrastructure. Once in place, when the time comes to upgrade your applications to ludicrous-speed, you can just “turn them on” and run these applications with your normal SAN traffic – only faster.
The digital economy continues to create a turbulent future. But there is a path to success. It starts today with a modern storage infrastructure based on AFA and NVMe technology.
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