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Friday, 12 April 2013 12:19

IBM bets big on flash storage

Written by Peter Scott

Plans to invest $1bn in R&D

Big Blue is betting on flash storage and it wants to take it to the next level with a $1 billion investment in research and development.

Although flash storage and SSDs are usually associated with pricey high end gear, IBM crunched some numbers and it turns out that flash storage could help it cut costs in the long run. Solid state drives are much faster, they require less power and cooling, and they have significantly lower support costs.

As a result, all-solid state data centers might end up about 30 percent cheaper than comparable centers with traditional hard drives. As solid state gear is faster, fewer processor cores and network connections are needed to get the same results. About 17 percent fewer servers are needed to get the same job done. They also consume less power and take up less space.

Projected software license costs for solid state servers are 38 percent lower than for disk systems. Environmental costs, including power, cooling and floor space, are a whopping 74 percent lower. Operational support costs are 35 percent lower.

Of course, SSDs are still a lot pricier than mechanical drives, but the long term cost to performance ratio is on the side of all-solid state servers.

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Peter Scott

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