Flash dramatically improves application performance and employee productivity, as well as test and development cycles. IT managers must make smart purchase decisions that stay within budget constraints, but many fail to take the long view when buying technology. They can’t look beyond the initial outlay to consider the long-term business advantages or even the likely return on investment.
Here are the typical stages that lead to understanding the real value of flash storage, as described by Fusion-io’s Gary Orenstein:
IT managers evaluating storage purchases generally start by comparing the cost of spinning disk storage per gigabyte versus flash storage, which typically is about 10 times more expensive.
Next, they compare the cost of each system based on input-output per second (IOPS), a measure by which flash becomes relatively inexpensive. However, IT managers who gauge flash on an IOPS basis “don’t come close to understanding its value,” says Orenstein. “You don’t run your business on IOPS, you run it on applications.”
Orenstein says IT managers should evaluate flash in terms of transactions per dollar. “If they can change their focus to how many SQL or Oracle transactions they get for their dollar, the flash decision gets really easy,” he says. IT managers who complete this calculation begin to see the huge advantages flash brings to the enterprise.
IT leaders that make it to the final stage are very close to understanding how flash delivers value. Here, they should establish an application metric that’s unique to their organization based on the ultimate goal of the application.