Flash storage has become more mainstream as costs have dropped and technology has become more sophisticated. In fact, IDC estimates that four out of five storage devices shipped in 2015 will be flash-enabled. While hard-disk drive (HDD) storage is not going away anytime soon, many storage solutions now combine flash storage with HDD.

Most of the benefits of flash storage are related to its speed and performance capabilities, which directly impact operational efficiency and user experience. Applications perform more consistently with flash. Flash can process large workloads much more quickly than HDD and boot up equipment in a matter of seconds. Unlike the spinning disks of HDD, flash has no moving parts, making it much more durable, less prone to data loss and easy to scale. Flash storage is also more cost-effective because it requires fewer resources in terms of power and cooling.

Because enterprises need large, complex data sets to be processed more quickly, flash storage is being more widely used in applications across large data centers to handle data-heavy and mission-critical workloads. For example, flash is ideal for real-time analysis of big data and improving the customer experience on e-commerce websites. Collaboration tools and applications that require high performance and minimal latency often use flash storage. Flash storage also helps to minimize the effect of boot storms in virtual desktop environments, where thousands of users can simultaneously request access to desktop applications from central servers.

IDC identifies three primary flash storage options. All-flash arrays provide the fastest possible processing for mission-critical applications. All-flash configurations of hybrid arrays are designed for all-flash arrays that require more mature data services, including snapshots, replication and encryption. Hybrid systems typically use flash storage for mission-critical applications and HDD for shared drives or documents.

Whichever flash option you choose, it’s important to optimize your use of flash. Because flash remains more expensive than HDDs, you’ll want to apply it to your most time-sensitive data and ensure that it’s operating at maximum efficiency.

The HP 3PAR StoreServ flash storage solution includes three key software features as part of the 3PAR operating system. Adaptive Flash Cache allows for the acceleration of random reads and extends storage system cache without the need to update hardware. Flash Advisor improves storage efficiency by identifying which storage volumes will benefit most from Adaptive Flash Cache and assessing the amount of duplicate data. Thin de-duplication is then applied to recover flash capacity.

IPC offers a wide range of solutions from HP and can help you take advantage of 3PAR storage solutions. Let us analyze your storage environment and determine what business applications and workloads would benefit most from the speed, performance and durability of flash storage.