WHITEPAPER It s Time to Move Your Critical Data to SSDs

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1 WHITEPAPER It s Time to Move Your Critical Data to SSDs

2 Table of Contents 1 Introduction Data Storage Challenges: Where Are We Now? Are SSDs Really Worth It? Introducing Micron s Newest SSD: The Right Solution for Read-Centric Business Needs Micron M510DC SSD: Performance and Value

3 Today s IT professionals are well aware that users expect fast, reliable access to ever-growing amounts of data from web content, to videos, to business intelligence data and more. Meeting the challenges of this exponential growth is nearly impossible with existing, spinning media storage technology. Hard disk drive (HDD) storage technologies have been the standard in data storage for decades, but they can no longer satisfy: they create bottlenecks in data access, they fail to meet the growing demands of broader content and higher user expectations - and they consume lots of power. IDC describes a third platform for IT growth and innovation [as one] built on mobile devices, cloud services, social technologies, and big data. According to IDC, The third platform is transforming the IT industry, and solid state drives (SSDs) are a key enabling technology that is altering the overall storage landscape and making the third platform a reality. As a result, the SSD industry will build upon the record 2013 unit shipments as the client and enterprise markets continue to leverage more solid state technology. 1 This white paper explores the growing use of SSDs in building better data storage platforms and their ability to improve the total cost of ownership (TCO) for enterprise data storage solutions. Future storage challenges will require IT professionals to strategically plan and to identify specific data requirements within their organizations to balance the cost and value of storage technology solutions. As greater numbers of IT professionals turn to SSDs for higher performance, better efficiency, and lower TCO, this white paper also presents a new SSD option to address these needs. 1

4 Data Storage Challenges: Where Are We Now? A dramatic increase in the sheer volume of data has outpaced the existing infrastructure that IT professionals currently use to manage it. The task of storing and accessing data is increasingly difficult due to this exponential data growth, causing performance issues for users and headaches for IT professionals. A recent Flash-Based Storage Adoption Research Report conducted by Spiceworks highlights the current use of flash-based memory in laptops and desktops. More than a third of organizations surveyed are considering moving to flash technology to take advantage of its reliability and higher performance. Although currently only about a quarter of companies surveyed are using flash-based storage in their data centers, this number is expected to continue increasing as SSD benefits are demonstrated in laptops and desktops. 2 As the volume of data that IT professionals manage continues to expand, flooding in from the web, social networks, sensors, video, and more, the constraints of traditional data storage become even greater. This is where SSDs provide a clear advantage for managing, accessing, and storing data. Today, many storage environments are optimized for HDDs. But designing storage environments to include SSDs can overcome bottlenecks created by spinning media performance issues. As the volume of data that IT professionals manage continues to expand, flooding in from the web... the constraints of traditional data storage become even greater. 2

5 Are SSDs Really Worth It? As data storage requirements continue to grow, IT professionals must constantly understand, incorporate, and manage new technologies and strategies. Adopting SSDs to transform the way that data is managed and stored has increased as IT becomes more aware of SSD technology benefits, especially for the most demanding, mission-critical applications. According to the Spiceworks survey, the primary reason IT professionals have adopted SSD storage is the large number of performance issues with their existing storage drives issues easily managed by SSDs. 2 The constant drive for better, more consistent performance and lower latency as users consume ever-increasing amounts of data whether content delivery, database management, or virtual environments, drives user expectations of faster data retrieval and more consistent application response on a daily basis. The survey shows that the majority of IT professionals have not done a complete TCO analysis of SSD usage, but research also shows that the value is there. 2 How? SSDs provide a lower TCO and a well-balanced solution of performance, endurance, features, and price. Enterprise SSDs result in lower human resource costs by offering reliable 24/7 performance for demanding workloads and improved throughput with accelerated random read/write capability, solving key challenges that IT professionals face regarding cost and productivity. According to the Spiceworks survey, the top benefits organizations experience and expect to experience with flash-based storage include improved performance and speed, increased energy efficiency, smaller/lighter form factor, and increased reliability/resistance to shock and vibration. 2 Benefits experienced or expected to experience with flash-based storage 50% 100% Improved performance/speed 81% Increased energy efficiency 54% Smaller/lighter form factor 46% Increased reliability/resistance to shock & vibration 45% Reduced noise 41% Extended hardware longevity 30% Enhanced support for virtualization 29% 3

6 Intended to replace older, spinning media technology or to be put into place next to existing technologies, SSDs expand and enhance storage capacity and performance. A storage strategy that includes adding SSDs into a storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) improves the security, performance, and reliability of the system. Among the IT professionals surveyed, 75% reported using flash-based storage, and most expect to expand its use. While the areas in which organizations are most likely to expand flash usage are laptops (88% at least somewhat likely) and desktops (77% at least somewhat likely), many also expect to expand flash use in their data centers (74% at least somewhat likely). 2 Although CapEX concerns continue to be at the forefront for those just getting started with SSDs, the clear OpEX value they bring is overwhelming. From initial evaluation to deployment and through long term use, IT professionals can expect: Improved Application Responsiveness Improving application responsiveness is where SSDs really shine. With no moving parts in the SSD applications have nearly instant access to all the data users need, when they need it. Manageability and Reliability Although there used to be concerns about SSD wear and how to manage that wear, those have been largely assuaged. Purpose-built SSDs that are optimized for specific, common workload families (like the M510DC s focus on read centric workloads) and standard methods of communicating remaining lifespan have enabled Enterprise SSD use to quickly migrate to the storage mainstream. Endurance Newer SSDs, like the M510DC, are engineered to provide the optimal balance between endurance (rated in drive fills per day) and cost. Based on their CapEx vs OpEx analysis, IT professionals are reaping the benefits of incorporating SSDs into their overall data storage strategy. Users don t want to go back to slower, less reliable spinning storage technology at least not for data/applications they access regularly. Deployed the right way, SSDs are optimizing performance and accelerating data access. 4

7 Introducing Micron s Newest SSD: The Right Solution for Read-Centric Business Needs The Micron M510DC SSD offers low TCO, significantly reduced power consumption, lower overall storage costs, enhanced performance with reduced bottlenecks and maximized throughput, high reliability and quality, and optimized endurance. Intended to complement the Micron M500DC, the M510DC is targeted to read centric workloads that are price sensitive. With drives segmented by endurance, the M510DC is ideal for 1 or <1 years. This drive stands out in the entry-level data center market based on its extended endurance and overall balance of sequential and random performance. It is designed specifically for demanding 24/7 read-focused enterprise workloads and offers feature-rich, extended endurance capabilities. A perfect fit for price-sensitive enterprise SATA SSD needs, the M510DC is a high performer for read centric, sequential, large block transfer workloads. In the evolving SSD market, the drive differentiates itself, providing excellent TCO for multiple use cases. The newest Micron SSD offering is ideally suited for content delivery, virtual environments, and Business Intelligence Decision Support Systems (BI DSS). Content Delivery The Micron M510DC SSD is perfect for content delivery, such as web serving, DVD storage, or video and data on demand. The performance/price balance makes this an affordable option by ensuring consistent latency, solid read performance, good endurance, and enterprise-class data protection. It s available in a 1 TB capacity. Virtual Environments The M510DC is an ideal choice for virtual desktops and virtual server infrastructures that utilize image storage and management, as well as backup remote replication in a virtual SAN. Exceptional small block random reads, terabyte-class capacity, low latency, and easy integration provide a reliable solution for virtual environments. Database management Large, fast database ingestion provides better and faster decision making for BI DSS applications. The M510DC is an energy-efficient option for database management while its solid random read performance also makes it a top option for NoSQL. 5

8 Other Micron M510DC benefits include: Targeted endurance As architectures have evolved to utilize the nature of SSDs more effectively, read-centric workloads are more common. For IT professionals requiring predictable performance and reliable data protection, both the M500DC and the M510DC incorporate Micron s extended Performance and Enhanced Reliability Technology (XPERT) feature set: ARM/OR (Adaptive Read Management/ Optimized Read) provides better data management while dynamically adjusting read settings for consistently superior performance optimized to support 24/7 workloads. RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent NAND) enables the drive to handle and manage losses due to media failure while providing greater drive-level endurance and protection for user data. ReCAL (Reduce Command Access Latency) is the management of background operations at a more granular level that results in a faster, more responsive drive. Finally, Micron is the first vendor to offer Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Enterprise SATA SSDs. The TCG Storage Security Subsystem Enterprise, better known as TCG Enterprise (or TCG-e), protects data-at-rest against unwanted access with hardware encryption functionality. All encryption key generation and key management are performed in the hardware and can t be accessed through software or the host operating system. Ensuring data security ensures that data stays as written for read centric workloads such as content delivery and BIDSS. Focus on applications This drive is optimized for many write-light, readheavy workloads, such as content delivery networks, virtualized environments, big data, high-performance computing database management, embedded data and workstations. XPERT feature set The M510DC takes advantage of the Micron-designed storage architecture enhancements that optimize SSD performance, drive life, and data integrity. Full power loss protection Data-atrest and data-in-flight are protected in the event of sudden power loss with a third-generation proven architecture. Right cost and performance The balance of cost and performance successfully aligns with today s enterprise light and data center environments. SATA SSDs, like the M510DC, provide high steady-state performance with low latencies, optimized error-management features, and multiple drive options with outstanding performance for enterprise blade servers and system storage. Storage solutions that include SSDs are expected to become mainstream, providing solutions to the challenges that IT and storage professionals face every day. In fact, the Flash Memory Summit has projected that the future of flash technology promises more sophisticated controllers and enterprise SSDs as the standard in data centers. 3 Now may be the right time to do your own comparison and evaluate the TCO of the Micron M510DC SSD for your organization. 6

9 Micron M510DC SSD: Performance and Value The M510DC can save you time and money as part of your data center storage strategy. Learn more about how to get high performance, endurance, and reliability from Micron s newest SSD solution. LEARN MORE Sources 1 IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, IDC, November Id=WC Spiceworks survey of 179 IT professionals at companies with at least 100 employees in the U.S. and Canada, on behalf of Micron, May and

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