How Modern Flash Storage Drives Operational Efficiency

A false economy describes the situation where you save money on your initial purchase but over the longer-term results in more money being spent than being saved.

Examples of false economy purchases include buying ink refills instead of new cartridges for your printer (they invariably print far fewer pages) or buying affordable shoes which often wear out much more quickly than higher quality brands.

Until now, buying an affordable flash array could have been added to that list of false economy purchases.

Flash storage can deliver incredible benefits and drive operational efficiency but typically when you look for low-cost options, they come at a cost of compromise, especially in terms of management features.

Not so with the IBM FlashSystem 5000 array. Yes, it ticks the “value for money” box, with very competitive pricing compared to similar alternatives on the market but it does so without compromise.

In the early days of flash, people got excited about IOPs and latency, and of course, performance still matters but the benefits of flash go much deeper than performance alone.

Implementing flash is about driving operational efficiencies as you modernise and cloud-enable, and the hardware you purchase is only one side of this equation.

The picture is only complete when you look at the software that comes with your storage investment. Basic pricing can mean basic software but with the FlashSystem 5000, IBM decided to go “all in,” including the Spectrum Virtualize enterprise-class storage management and virtualisation software.

In terms of operational efficiencies, this is a game-changer, ensuring this affordably priced array becomes the foundation of your cloud transformation.

Storage must never be a limiting factor when it comes to making choices about the cloud. With IBM Spectrum Virtualize, you have the ability to deploy and manage on-prem storage as well as your storage across the major public clouds, and just for good measure, IBM will even let you manage third-party storage too.

Every second you spend troubleshooting and problem-solving with your storage array is time wasted. Users of FlashSystem 5000 are a testament to it being a set and forget experience. This is underpinned by intelligent embedded active support capabilities like call home, and automatic log updates, with IBM having read-only access to diagnostic information on your device. The net result is that the time resolving problems is totally minimised.

AI and analytics need to be more than a marketing buzzword. Correctly used, these technologies drive efficiencies in several critical areas including:

  • Capacity Planning – by getting accurate data growth prediction rates.

  • Cost Reduction – By moving data to appropriate tiers of storage.

  • Increased Utilisation – By identifying and re-deploying provisioned but unused capacity.

IBM customers consistently confirm the overhead improvements that are realised by leveraging these technologies.

Performance requires tuning. Just throwing high-spec hardware at a problem is rarely the long-term answer. As applications evolve or grow, the underlying storage needs to be “tuned” to ensure performance is maximised. IBM Storage Insights (part of the Spectrum suite) provides enhanced performance monitoring, tracking down the source of performance issues and pre-empting future performance issues.

When it comes to looking for well-priced flash storage, don’t be fooled. Low-cost flash may well be a false economy but at the same time, don’t be fooled by the affordability of the FlashSystem 5000 – It comes with no compromise and drives down the total cost of ownership, no false economy in sight.


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