Storage News

Health IT Infrastructure Embraces Flash-Based Array

Flash-based array storage grows as health IT infrastructure demands better storage for clinical data.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Healthcare organizations collecting data from mobile and connected medical devices are searching for storage solitons to handle the influx of data and scale up to meet future health IT infrastructure demands.

The consumption of flash-based arrays is expected to steadily rise through 2024 as industries across major verticals demand advanced, virtual storage solutions, says a report by Persistence Market Research.

Similar to many other health IT infrastructure virtual solutions, flashed-based array offers organizations storage solutions that shrink costs and increase performance. Flashed-based arrays are designed for high intensity data transactions.

Flash array is made up of multiple solid state disk drives that are more stable than the spinning disks found in hard disk drives. The flash drives transfer data faster than hard disk drives and are easier to reprogram.

Flash-based arrays are also cheaper to physically deploy and maintain. Without the spinning disks, the array does not need as much power to run.

Flash-based arrays also don’t need the same cooling process as standard drives, making the cost of the data center much less expensive. Many flash-based arrays also include data replication, deduplication, and snapshots for recovery purposes.

Report authors credit the rise of flash-based arrays to the widespread adoption of mobile devices, cognitive systems, machine learning, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence. Many of these infrastructure technologies require real-time data processing in high volume. Traditional and many cloud-based storage systems can struggle with real-time processing of the volume of data present in many modern IT systems.

The report points to healthcare as one of the top investors in flash-based array due to its processing power. Flash-based arrays also have the space and scalability to store large amounts to unstructured data for long periods of time.

Organizations without analytics solutions benefit from flash-based arrays because they can keep data that can easily be retrieved in the future when analytics systems are put in place.

Unstructured data is also a significant reason why flash-based array is on the rise. Big data and unstructured data are expected to rise rapidly over the several years as well, driving the need for efficient storage systems. Flash-based array is expected to take the lead on big data and analytics storage systems.

For example, Pure Storage released its Flash Blade solution last month. The solution is a flashed-based array and helps researchers at UC Berkeley deal with massive sets of genomic data that need elastic storage space.

UC Berkeley needed a storage solution that could quickly retrieve high-quality images so researchers could visualize their research and find patterns. 

UC Berkeley's Center for Computational Biology Professor Anthony D. Joseph explained that the flash-based array storage removed roadblocks from their research by allowing them to see more detail faster.

UC Berkeley researches data and shares the information with healthcare organizations so clinicians can make better and more accurate diagnoses.

Healthcare organizations have struggled with how to store unstructured data since the general adoption of connected medical devices. Many organizations are considering big data analytics to qualify for federal funding, but may not have the storage capacity to support the volume of data with their current storage architecture.

Organizations need more than a qualified analytics solution to sort and connect data.

A capable storage solution is the foundation of an analytics solution. Modern storage solutions using more advanced methods for data retrieval such as flash and solid-state drives are going to allow organizations to quickly make use of their data, getting faster results for real-time analysis and diagnosis.


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