“We had previously offered solid-state drives with our FlexStor SSD NAS products,” Ervin said. The solid-state disks were only available in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB at a cost of $250 per gigabyte. “It wasn’t affordable for a lot of our customers.” Ervin added that the hybrid drives could be used to create tiers of storage within a box, with traditional SATA drives making up the bulk of capacity and the hybrid drives forming a Tier-1 layer for a transactional database or other performance-intensive application.
One area in which DNF cautions that the hybrid drives are probably not best suited is in IP SANs. “There’s a tendency, if you get a lot of high-performance drives in an IP network, especially one that’s not dedicated to storage, for the network overhead to negate the benefits of the drives,” Ervin said.