All-flash arrays have become wildly popular in the data storage world thanks to their ability to boost performance and increase efficiency. Some of the most popular all-flash systems come from NetApp, Pure, and Dell EMC. While there are many benefits to an all-flash system, it has largely been unattainable for many data centers due to IT budget constraints. Traditionally, IT managers have preferred the more economical approach of hybrid-flash arrays, opting to tier data using a mix of hard disk drives and solid state drives.

With multiple vendors now offering more affordable all-flash options such as the Unity platform from EMC and the all-flash FAS filers from NetApp, IT buyers have more affordable options to consider moving to all-flash arrays. But moving away from hybrid-flash to all-flash may not be for everyone. Capacity, performance needs, and growth should be taken into account before any change in your environment. To help you make an informed decision for what is the best option for your environment, here are some of the pros and cons and best use cases for hybrid-flash and all-flash arrays.

All-Flash Array Pros and Cons

All-flash arrays allow you to optimize speed and performance by giving you more IOPS than disk-based storage. But longevity and return on investment (ROI) rank as top concerns for all-flash skeptics. While solid state drives are less likely to fail because they don’t have spinning disks, the overall lifespan of solid state drives can be impacted depending on your data storage practices.

If longevity concerns you, take a look at your reads to writes ratio. All-flash arrays allow you to read off the drive faster, but if you do a large amount of writes your chances of a drive faulting are higher.

Hybrid-Flash Array Pros and Cons

Hybrid-flash arrays have long been considered the standard when it comes to data storage architecture. Automated storage tiering has allowed IT managers to add a small amount of solid state drives to their existing arrays for applications that need high performance, while keeping archived data on lower tier drives such as SAS and SATA. Organizations that store large amounts of data can appreciate the hybrid-flash model for capacity needs.

Considering moving to an all-flash approach may be a good idea if you have a smaller database. Implementing all-flash in a smaller environment can be easier and more cost effective.

How Can Reliant Help?


Need assistance deciding between a hybrid-flash and all-flash array? As the World’s #1 Reseller of Certified Pre-Owned Storage Hardware & Support, we can craft a solution that considers your capacity, performance, and overall organizational growth needs. Contact our storage specialists with any questions you may have about your storage infrastructure.