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Flash Storage in Turkey

Flash storage arrays are greatly beneficial for those who require a low latency and high input/output operations per second. A lot of flash storage is deployed in combination with solid state or hard disk storage, but there are those who solely use flash for their array. Using an all-flash array can offer high performance with quick access times, but demand for such speed is not a big demand in Turkey.

The number one concern with bringing on a flash storage system is the cost. Although the levels of performance offered are high, a lot of firms don’t need such speeds for their business, thus cannot justify spending the money unless it is a requirement. A lot of features are also missing in flash-only arrays, like replication and snapshots, which are available in a hard disk array. Although some companies might require the high speeds of a flash array, the lack of these features has stopped them pursuing it.

Not only does flash storage offer high performance, but they are also more environmentally friendly with reduced energy consumption. Turkey is a hot country and power is not cheap, so any potential to cut costs in data centres is something that is going to be well received.

Dell, HP, NetApp, EMC, Hitachi and IBM are the six big flash storage suppliers in Turkey and this reduced competition has stopped their being many flash start-up companies in the country. Competition is one driver of innovation and some analysts believe that the inability for new entrants to the market has stopped the big six from providing more modern flash systems in the Turkish marketplace. Nevertheless, it’s only likely that the market will get more competitive as it grows.

ComputerWeekly.com reported on two companies who make use of flash storage. The first of these is the Migros Group, one of the largest retailers in Turkey. They make use of a Violin Memory all-flash array. The firm needed the high performance that flash offers in order to handle the I/O generations that their in-house financial system (which tracks transactions) generates.

The company tried PCIe flash cards and adding flash drives to their existing EMC VMAX SAN systems, but found the results disappointing. Eventually they settled on the HP/Violin Memory WMA 3205 with 5TB of storage, offering around 300000 IOPS.

“The system offers a high read-write performance. We haven’t had any challenges with the system yet but we prefer to sustain the continuity of our system by backing it up on the SAN rather than another flash array via [Oracle] Data Guard,” said Atilla Özsoylu, the general manager for database management at Migros.

The second company is Grid Telekom, a Turkish cloud provider. Traditional storage became expensive due to the heavy I/O demand, so the firm switched to an all-flash system with a NetApp EF540 array.

“In the case that NetApp keeps underperforming in supplying new products to the market, there will be a significant shift towards other companies. That is a general problem in Turkey; smaller niche companies are absent, so the large companies are not bothered to bring about their latest products,” said Hakan Akan, the general manager of Grid Telekom.

The cost of flash storage will likely decrease over time and will become more popular; these two companies show that the format certainly has its place in Turkey and will become increasingly viable for more businesses.

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