Matt Kixmoeller is VP of Product at Pure Storage.
This year at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, analysts highlighted a major issue bearing down on IT departments: unrelenting demand. Across the board, businesses and consumers are demanding better and constant connectivity, less downtime, faster response rates and across an increasing number of connected devices.
The digitization of our economy has left companies with a major problem. Organizations are increasingly data rich, but time and resource poor when it comes to leveraging the information available to them. Nowhere is this more acutely felt than data centers, specifically around issues like storage where Gartner sees the 39 million terabytes currently in use, surge to 89 million terabytes by 2019.
Given these challenges, it’s vital that companies learn to optimize critical systems for the task at hand to ensure they can meet more demanding workloads.
For example, Oracle Database is one of the most widely used IT systems in the world, owning almost 45 percent of the relational database market and in use by 98 percent of all Fortune 500 companies. Companies achieving even incremental improvements in efficiency and performance can use that advantage to gain an edge against the competition.
To achieve even greater performance improvements in their data center, many organizations are turning to flash storage to help them run more efficiently. With more than 60 percent of organizations planning to make the move to all-flash by 2017, there is still a lot to consider during the migration process.
Many of the legacy storage recommendations people are familiar with for Oracle DB may no longer hold true in the flash world, so understanding what’s different will be key to success.
As organizations move to all-flash, understanding these four things will be key to making the most out of your flash storage:
- Rethink your setup - With flash, there is no longer need to separate data files and log files on separate storage media. In fact, redo logs can be moved to flash and benefit from performance boosts. Also, on flash, performance is not a function of the number of LUNs. The choice of Automatic Storage Management (ASM) or file system can be made independent of performance considerations as well. Rapid provisioning of environments for agile development and testing using snapshots functionality can also be a game changer for many organizations.
- Customize the system for the task - On flash, various parameters that were the norm on disk, no longer hold true. For example, Oracle DB performance on flash is not a function of data block size, ASM or file system or number of LUNs. Organizations should instead look at what best meets their needs, meshing with operational policies and guidelines.
- Understand Flash Performance - Traditional disk-based storage requires multiple LUNs in order to gain IOPS. In all-flash, IOPS are a function of the controller, not how many LUNs are behind them. Tedious, time consuming activities, like back up and recovery, can be greatly shortened as well. Back-up and recovery processes using Oracle RMAN can be 10 times faster on all-flash, giving the database administrator’s valuable time back to spend on more strategic tasks.
- Evaluate costs– Thanks to better data reduction and a more efficient system overall, flash storage allows people to do more with less. By reducing the total core count used to run Oracle, organizations can save thousands of dollars a year in licensing and hardware costs.
Speeding up business applications provides organizations with more data and more analytical insights for exceeding customer expectations. Additionally, when business applications are performing as expected, this frees up time for the IT team to focus resources on transforming the business and developing new capabilities for their customers. In the digital economy, success can often be found in maximizing every aspect of your IT infrastructure. By better understanding the advantages of flash storage before making the shift, organizations can plan ahead to ensure they’re able to meet the growing demands placed on IT departments.
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