How flash storage is accelerating converged infrastructure deployments

Avnet Technology Solutions offers its views on why flash storage is proving a transformative technology in the converged infrastructure market.

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There’s a lot of buzz around how flash is impacting enterprise storage today, and rightfully so. Flash, when leveraged the right way can pack a lot of performance in a small footprint. Although, flash and disk have very different characteristics, so simply swapping out disk for flash in traditional storage systems doesn’t leverage flash efficiently. For flash, storage systems must be designed from the ground-up. Yet, when it comes to the cost of capacity and the cost of sequential I/O, disk can’t be beat. So while storage systems today must be designed specifically for flash, an efficient architecture should also incorporate disk and vary the amount of flash that’s needed to ensure that you get the best of both technologies.

Converged infrastructure systems are disrupting how applications are deployed by providing turn-key, best-of-breed infrastructure for applications instead of custom-built solutions. These pre-validated solutions speed time to deployment and reduce the risk of deploying untested solutions in the datacenter. This is especially true for business critical applications such as Oracle, Exchange, SQL and for workloads that can be performance intensive such as VDI.

With flash impacting enterprise storage space, today’s best-of-breed infrastructure requires that the underlying storage platform should adapt to these workloads by varying the amount of flash and disk depending on the characteristics of the workload – for example, an Exchange deployment may favor capacity over performance, while a VDI deployment may favor performance over capacity. An adaptable storage system efficiently delivers higher performance and a much smaller footprint than legacy converged infrastructures. Converged infrastructures built on an adaptable storage system in turn makes the converged infrastructure more adaptable, accelerating their deployments. This is because they can be sized for a wide range of application profiles, while accommodating changing needs without expensive forklift upgrades.

Nimble Storage’s SmartStack is an example of a converged infrastructure based on an Adaptive Flash platform. Built on Cisco UCS servers and Nimble Storage CS-Series arrays, SmartStack solutions provide proven infrastructure for VDI, server virtualization, Oracle database, and Microsoft applications.

For SmartStack deployment, Avnet provides integration services, including rack, cable and pre-configuration of Cisco UCS with Nimble Storage arrays. This enables reseller partners to:

  • Change inflexible fixed costs of internal integration services, such as facilities and personnel, to variable costs that can easily be adjusted to changing business conditions
  • Scale capacity up or down easily to match seasonal or cyclical business conditions.
  • Eliminate the need to continually manage technical training and technician certification requirements.
  • Free up management and sales resources to focus on the core competencies of selling services and products to their customer base.
  • Reduce logistics and inventory expenses relating to cross shipping and carrying inventory.

With Nimble Storage SmartStack and Avnet, partners have the ability to accelerate deployments of best-of-breed converged infrastructures built on an adaptive flash storage platform even further.