Several research and studies that have looked at reasons for enterprise flash adoption, reveal that in South East Asia, traditional database performance remains one of the single biggest reasons for adopting Flash technology.
This is interesting because many of the benefits of flash lend themselves well to more modern technologies such as Big Data Analytics, VDI or even the clear Total Cost of Ownership benefits. However, it is not altogether surprising, not least because most business applications run on traditional database technology and many web based portals, where speed of response is a critical link to a back-end SQL database that often existed long before the web based or app based front end connected to it.
Even though Structured Databases like Oracle and Microsoft SQL existed well before Flash arrays became a datacentre reality, the very nature of a highly transactional database means that they were always going to benefit from flash technology.
As far back as 2010 you can find white papers from database vendors such as Oracle that explain how Flash will speed up performance. The logic is reasonably simple. Highly transactional databases drive very high disk i/o and Flash IOPs performance far exceeds that of traditional spinning hard drive based arrays.
The economics are also particularly good when it comes to databases on Flash. When it comes to purchasing disk for a database, the price per IOP is often more telling than the price per GB. In today’s market, the gap in the price per GB between Flash and Hard drives is closing, more importantly Flash has a better price per IOP when you start scaling to large systems that drive huge IOPs.
Whilst it’s not a big leap of faith to believe that Flash Storage will improve database performance, it is slightly more difficult to understand by how much and exactly what flash configuration will best suit the database application you are looking to enhance.
Dell EMC has built huge experience in this area and also helps customers to select the right flash product to support specific database issues. The questions you need to consider are varied.
What is your primary database challenge? It’s not always about performance, it could be consolidation or complexity.
What is the primary use case? This can be data warehousing through to online transactions with each resulting in different requirements.
What is the total size of your dataset? Again, the amount of data can have implications on how you manage and improve things.
The task is not simple, but Dell EMC have built an online tool that can walk you through the basic questions that will help point you to the right Flash range for your specific database needs. You can access it here.
It’s never one size fits all, but one thing is for sure, if you pick the right flash technology, your database performance improvement will not be in doubt.
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