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Introducing NetApp Flash Ray

NetApp has long been at the vanguard of providing low-cost yet solid performing storage solutions for the enterprise. Early next year, NetApp will release a product that promises to make some serious waves in the enterprise storage arena that solves some of the most challenging aspects of using flash memory.

The biggest trouble with flash memory today is the fact that it wears out. The more writing you do to flash memory such as that used in a SSD, the faster it wears out. If you have a workload that’s write-intensive supporting a high-performance application, flash will become unusable sooner.

This is a shift in paradigm from spinning disks, which don’t wear out from use; instead, spinning disks fail. The amount of workload demanded from spinning disks had no impact on whether or not they continued to run.

Meeting the challenge

FlashRay is NetApp’s new operating system that intends to meet the challenge of flash memory head on. It promises to be a disruptive technology, revolutionizing the way we think about flash storage.

Part of the reason that spinning disk technology is as inefficient as the way it is, in comparison to flash technology, is that designers of the technology didn’t have to worry about disks wearing out. Applications are written in a terribly inefficient manner, which dramatically impacts performance.

Flash storage is much more efficient, but writing to flash wears on the medium.

NetApp FlashRay minimizes the wear that writing does on the flash memory. That means using even the cheapest flash memory, like the ones that sit inside of our mobile devices, without negatively impacting the performance of the flash storage. In addition, it serves to extend the life cycle of flash, potentially beyond its current 5-year threshold.

Imagine all-flash storage systems that remove the traditional storage bottleneck of enterprise systems. NetApp is imagining it now, and it’s expected to be in beta in 2014.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.