Businesses weigh benefits of solid state storage

Whether you are using DRAM-based or Flash-based storage, just how much speed you need?

Today, Oppenheimer has the traditional storage technologies that they need, along with the appropriate speed at costs that can be rationalized for some 4,000 users, he said. "It goes back to the needs of the business. If the need doesn't exist, then the interest is minimal."

If the requirements of the business increase, then the issue can be reeavaluated, he said. "The pursestrings are very tight these days," McCardle said. "So until we feel pain ... that will drive the need for a technology refresh," a move to such developing technologies as solid state storage won't happen.

Another user, a systems administrator for a New York-based financial services company who asked that his name not be used because of company policy, said his company has been eyeing solid state storage but hasn't made a decisions on what direction to take.

"My company doesn't like bleeding edge," he said. "They like proven technologies." At the same time, he said, solid state drives will likely be a technology they have to consider.

"Down the road, we're going to look at it hard, think hard and reassess the benefits, which may be many," he said. "Maybe not today or tomorrow, but maybe in a few years. We may not be bleeding edge, but at some point we're going to have to go to it" for what promises to be its greatest advantage -- its speed over existing storage technologies.

"Without speed, we're dead," he said.

Another user, a storage architect for a New York-based publishing company who also asked to remain anonymous because of company policy on talking to the press, agreed, saying the added expenditures for solid state storage systems today wouldn't be worth it for their needs.

"We don't have the applications that necessitate them," he said. "We deal with a different data set compared to the firms that do data analysis. We deal with content creation," which doesn't require ultra-fast data reads and writes that are a hallmark of solid state drive technologies. "We couldn't derive a benefit at the price point that it is at now."

"We look for economy," he said. "We find that second-tier storage (such as Serial ATA drives) is adequate to support even our highest-performing applications."

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Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
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