Do you have the right network for Flash?

With the unprecedented volume of data and burgeoning number of connected devices, the need for enterprises to modernize their data centers is critical. One technology that is having a profound effect on data center transformation is Flash Storage. Enterprises are flocking to Flash as evidenced by the findings in IDC’s June, 2016 Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker (scroll down the page to see the table).

IDC states that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for worldwide terabytes shipments of enterprise flash-based storage between 2013 and 2015 was 166.5% and that all-flash array ales grew 91.4 percent during the first half of 2016 compared with the same period of 2015.”

Why are enterprises moving to Flash? There are a number of key reasons – but the primary reason is that all organizations need better and faster access to critical internal and customer data.

Flash needs a complementary network

In order to maximize the value of Flash Storage, IT departments need to ensure that the appropriate network is in place.  Failure to do so risks that any performance bottleneck will just be moved from one hot spot in the infrastructure to another.  Or to put it another way, a great smart phone is only as good as its connection, and a great sports car only performs at its peak on the best roads.  The same is true for Flash Storage and the storage network.

Dell recently announced the availability of the Brocade G620 Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch.  The Brocade G620 is the industry’s first Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch and allows enterprises to take advantage of lightning-fast Dell Flash Storage and adapt quickly to dynamic business demands.

A Gen 6 Fibre Channel infrastructure is the right network to support Dell Flash Storage.  It accelerates application performance, enables always-on business operations, and allows enterprises to implement a Future-Ready strategy to modernize their data center.

Gen 6 Fibre Channel is built to optimize Flash Storage and highly virtualized server environments, with the higher IO throughput and lower latency necessary for high-transaction applications.

Can we quantify the speed?  Sure! According to a Demartek Gen 6 Fibre Channel evaluation report, 32 Gbps performance accelerates application response time by up to 71 percent over previous solutions eliminating IO bottlenecks and unleashing the full performance of flash storage.

Not just better performance but better management

In addition to performance benefits, Brocade Fabric Vision Technology with IO Insight provides the industry’s only integrated network sensor, which allows for proactive monitoring of application and device-level IO performance and behavior. This exclusive capability enables enterprises to quickly identify and resolve problems.  And, integration with VMware tools such as vRealize enables optimization of VM and application performance.

Finally, in keeping with Dell’s future-ready philosophy, Gen 6 Fibre Channel switches are positioned for future technologies like NVMe over Fabrics and Gen 7 Fibre Channel.

There is no doubt that efficient access to critical data is a significant competitive advantage for organizations.  As you look to modernize your data center and implement Dell flash storage, the Brocade G620 Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch provides the best solution for connectivity and will help your organization receive the greatest value from your All-Flash arrays.

About the Author: Ted Curtin

Over thirty years in high tech sales, operations and marketing including IBM, BMC Software and Verizon Business. Hired by Dell in 2012 as part of the storage solutions marketing team. Now part of the ESG Network Marketing Team, concentrating on Dell W- Series and the V+V launch. MBA from Boston University and B.A. from Holy Cross. .