Coming into the Light: The correct way to view Flash Storage

By Scott Shadley - 2016-01-28

I have to admit- given all the current hype - I am going to break from my previous Star Trek homage blog posts and spend this blog relating  to the ‘other’ Star related franchise (although I will always be a Trekkie at heart). Why switch sides, go down the dark path, or let the power of the dark side take control, you ask? Well, with the latest iteration of the Star Wars franchise we hear the first formal use of the term “Light Side” of the force. For all the previous movies it was all about ‘The Force’ and the ‘Dark Side’.

So how does this relate to a data storage blog? Much like the ideas of the Force and the assumption there is a ‘light side’ (never before mentioned) to counter the ‘dark side’, the same is true in storage. We have our own ‘Force’ if you will; the benefits the end customer receives from data storage. For years of developing Flash-based storage, the market has treated the SSD market as more of a dark side influence but I argue that SSDs are really the light!

Let me explain:  Sometimes change is viewed more negatively than positively. It is all related to the change required and the effort needed to overcome issues that should never have been there in the first place. Basically I am taking the stance that rotational media has really been the true dark side, hiding right under our noses, and no matter how many times the good guys win, they always come back in different ways. Think of the ‘Empire’ returning as the ‘First Order’. Why all the parallels? I previously called 2014 into 2015 the “Year of the SSD” as all platforms now call out the need for benefits realized by solid state storage.

In 2016 I expect to see an even larger turning of the tide. In data storage, we will always have the spinning drive, there is simply no way around that. But what we do see and will continue to see is the reduced footprint of high-speed HDD, and the beginning of even faster solid state storage solutions with the full –on release of the next Xeon refresh from Intel, NVMe, 3D XPoint, and applications that are now bred for SSD, not for rotational latency.

I look forward to what 2016 is going to bring to bear in the market. I see nothing but a continued improvement in all things flash, and Micron is well placed to drive, show and win in this developing storage market. So out with the ‘dark side’ references, it is evident that SSDs are the ‘light side’ of storage. Have you joined the ‘Light Side’ yet? If not, 2016 is your year!

Scott Shadley

Scott Shadley