Solid state drives (SSDs) aren’t new in the data center for high performance use cases.  What is changing rapidly is cost – which is increasingly enabling IT staff to use them in a more ubiquitous fashion.

The chart above, which is from SanDisk, outlines the historical and projected cost trends associated with SSDs.  It doesn’t tell the whole story of course – traditional spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) will continue beyond 2017 having higher storage densities.  But on an averaged I/O Per Second (IOPS) basis, the shift to more inclusive SSD-oriented architectures coupled with vendor innovation from companies such as Nimble, Pure Storage, SolidFire, and EMC’s storage groups are going to have a profound impact on data centers.

One important impact of this will be the need to upgrade from 1Gbps and 10Gbps to 40Gbps and 100GBps networking in order to handle the higher IOPS rates from pure or hybrid SSD storage.  In addition, intelligent use of network virtualization with proper visibility into the data plane will be critical for network and storage administrators.

In terms of backup and data protection, the consequences of are also dramatic.  Backup software solutions will become more challenging in terms of optimizing another tier of backup storage.  All-in-one physical backup appliances will increasingly use SSDs for their backup storage.  And all backup solutions will have to handle increased storage and network bandwidth.

This is part 13 of an on-going series. Part 1: virtualization isn’t the next big thing (NBT) because it was the last big thing (LBT); part 2: data center IP traffic growth; part 3: data center IP traffic sources; part 4: cloud workloads; part 5: large data centers and administrator to server ratios; part 6: strategy overview – adapt or be crushed; part 7: automation, agility, adaptability;  part 8, automation vs agility and adaptability; part 9: virtualizing everything; part 10: bare metal cloud; part 11: bare metal cloud performance; part 12: containers.