SSDs disruption to storage management practices can be avoided by other means too. For example the caching type of appliances that are now becoming available, once implemented, are very non-disruptive as are the automated tiering solutions that we have discussed in prior entries. Both of these methods of implementing SSD can take the decision off your plate. It does not even require a special appliance to pull this off. Some of the storage virtualization software solutions on the market today will allow you to identify an SSD drive as a read-only or read-write cache area as well. We have seen in our testing a significant performance improvement from adding a small amount of SSD to one of these environments. Even the operating systems themselves are getting into the act. For example some OSs will allow you to mirror data to a SSD drive but then designate the SSD as the preferred source for reads. This allows you to continue to use your current backup strategy and still get the performance improvement that SSD promises.
For SSD to be non-disruptive it does not need to be integrated with your current storage system, there are plenty of ways to obtain the performance benefit of SSD without waiting for your current mechanical storage vendor to figure it all out.
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George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.