According to a recent white paper, higher education institutions that opt for all-flash storage solutions are better placed to move to virtual desktop infrastructure, increase their management of big data, and improve application performance. The challenges of the management of data duplication that destroys stock capability continue to remain with CIOs in institutions which rely on traditional storage solutions and legacy systems. Input-output-operation/second (IOPS) data centers using conventional disk-based storage can also fail to keep pace.
Flash storage has its roots in electronically erasable, programmable read-only memory. However, contrasting to other forms of EEPROM, flash storage deletes whole data blocks at once, rather than bit by bit. Overall, flash storage is much faster and gives access to data that would be accessed in milliseconds by a hard disk drive. Flash storage has traditionally been used primarily in small electronic devices, but new all-flash arrays that combine multiple flash drives can handle heavier loads. In combination with a falling price point, institutions can look at flash storage differently.
Universities are switching to flash show that it has some advantages such as easy integration into cloud platforms. As shown in the white paper, potential uses vary widely.
Firstly, in higher education, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allows institutions to scale up services, enhance our user experience, and deliver specialist applications to any device. IT managers found that the transition to flash storage at the University of Portland in Oregon increased the speed and scale of its virtual environment and decreased its computer refresh budget to 20 percent.
Secondly, because researchers rely on high-performance computing and big data, they need continuous infrastructure. Researchers of the human genome at the University of California, Berkeley, needed a vast array of genetic marker data (analysis of a single strand of DNA can take up to 300 gigabytes). They developed an open-source library with flash storage to ensure high availability for load management.
Thirdly, the efficiencies of flash storage are also utilized to support administrative initiatives. Administrators at Davenport University combine all-flash storage arrays with Oracle and Microsoft SQL data streaming services to increase their analytical capacity.
Additionally, IT teams integrate all-flash arrays and virtualization software for VMware at Mississippi Virtual Community College to expand on the web for an increasing student population.