Need proof that flash storage has gone mainstream? Visit any teenager’s world.

computerworld flash mainstream teen view

The truth is, flash storage has gone so mainstream that you may not even realize how many ways it touches your life, or how much we depend on it to fuel new apps and services that we simply didn’t have even a decade ago.

Take today’s teenager as a prime example. Teenagers are data-generating machines (thank you Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.), and much of their digital activity relies on flash storage. Here are three things that flash makes possible for them—things we would never have been able to do when we were kids.

1. Music streaming

Ever wonder how musicians get paid when you stream their music? They depend on organizations like the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), a non-profit group that tracks and distributes royalty payments to their members when songs are played on the radio, TV or, increasingly, through streaming services.

Traditionally, radio and television stations would send in their playlists, and SOCAN would aggregate that data and determine who should be paid and how much. The advent of streaming technology turned what was a not-so-easy process into mission impossible. Their EMC legacy storage couldn’t keep up, so they turned to a flash storage solution. Immediately, batch process times improved by 93%, and their time to calculate and disperse royalties went from weeks to days.

That was huge for SOCAN’s business. And it’s huge for the rest of us because it means artists get paid, and paid on time. So next time you stream some Dubstep (ask a teenager), thank flash storage and organizations like SOCAN.

Check out this quick video of IT leaders at three companies, including SOCAN’s Trevor Jackson, talking about the impact of flash.

2. Gaming

One way teenagers can play their favorite video games is on a PlayStation 4 (PS4). That’s where Sony Network Entertainment comes in. They provide access to services, including PlayStation Network for games and Music Unlimited for music.

For Lee Pedlow, the company’s Senior Director of Production Services, delivering instant gratification for end users is a top priority. For example, gamers want to be able to purchase directly from their PS4 console. If they’re forced to wait, they may turn to alternatives for their entertainment. Or—heaven forbid—take the dog for a walk or clean their rooms.

Lee realized that Sony’s three-tiered legacy storage environment was running out of capacity and compute and was ill-equipped to address projected growth. They investigated flash-based storage solutions, since the technology had reached cost parity with spindle-based storage solutions. “We literally did a side-by-side bake-off [of storage vendors] in our data center, utilizing real workloads to evaluate performance, scalability, resiliency, and TCO,” says Lee. “When we looked at the detail level in the four categories mentioned, 3PAR hit the ball out of the park.”

They were able to achieve a 5- to 10-fold performance improvement, consolidate seven racks of legacy storage to just a quarter of one single rack, and even reduce Oracle licensing costs. Watch this short video to hear Lee describe the benefits of moving to HPE 3PAR All-Flash.

3. Higher education

Looking at colleges? The digital age has completely revolutionized the process. When I was shopping for colleges, I had to go to my Career Center or send away for brochures. No websites back then.

Classes have transformed, too. I know of one school that not only offers remote learning, but can hold classes even with a data center power outage. That’s the University of Auckland, the largest university in New Zealand.

In the past, the university’s data center was uni-directional. This caused problems because losing power to their data center would take down some of their applications and servers. The university needed to increase resilience with a solution that would fit into its existing infrastructure.

The new flash solution enabled system administrators to move workloads easily from one data center to another. Liz Coulter, Director of IT Services, says: “We wanted to make sure that it didn't need any manual intervention in order to failover. Recovering quickly and little data loss were the most important things to us. We had a few vendors on our short list. The reason we chose HPE was it fitted those criteria very well.”

Watch this video for more about why the University of Auckland chose HPE 3PAR All-Flash.

Solving real problems

As these examples demonstrate, flash storage is solving customers’ real-world IT problems—helping them lower costs, deliver more business value, and become more agile as they move toward the all-flash data center.

But don’t take my word for it—just ask any teenager.

Interested in learning more about all-flash? Check out this Flash Buyer’s Guide to make sure you’re asking data storage vendors the right questions to get the best solution.

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