On: 18 Oct 2017

Stephen O'Herlihy, Lead Technologist at PFH recently spoke to Róisín Kiberd on the evolving nature of the fast-moving data storage sector.

“Customers are starting to shy away from the big costly investments in SAN (Storage Area Networks) or enterprise arrays, and are looking for alternatives,” said Stephen O’Herlihy, lead technologist at PFH Technology Group, Ireland’s largest ICT and Managed Services provider.

“They’re looking at hyper-converged options, where storage and networking and computing are all contained in one both. That is driven by software-defined storage.”

“The biggest challenge to flash adoption is cost,” said O’Herlihy. “There’s the fact that you can buy a spinning disk with ten terabytes of capacity for an extremely low price, while if you buy that as a flash drive you’re talking five times the price. But because flash is so much faster, the comparison is that even the fastest spinning disk available will make 200 IOPS (input/output operations per second) while the standard enterprise SSD one does 10,000. It’s like the difference between night and day.”

Flash has overhauled how many companies store their data, simplifying the task and cutting down on storage administration. “Moving data around is quite a complex task for enterprises to handle,” said O’Herlihy.

“With flash, all that is gone. You don’t have to worry about tiering, workload placement, any of those tasks. You don’t have to worry about having to tier your data onto different performing spinning disks and separate out your workload. Some of the new companies can set up in 15 minutes. It’s aligned with the characteristics of cloud — it’s pay-as-you-go.”