While flash-based storage is deemed essential for data centers, many organizations anticipate needing additional technology innovations to unlock the full performance of their high-performance computing applications, according to a recent report from storage provider DataDirect Networks.

The company surveyed more than 100 global organizations in late 2017, and found that for 60 percent of the respondents managing complex I/O workloads, performance remains the largest challenge.

While the basic application of flash storage in HPC data centers remains relatively flat, at about 90 percent of respondents using flash storage at some level within their data centers today, the main shift is in how much data is being retained in flash.

About three quarters of organizations store less than 20 percent of their data on flash media, but many respondents anticipate an increase in 2018, with a quarter expecting 20-to-30 percent of their data to be flash based.

The amount of data under management in these organizations continues to grow, the report said. Of organizations surveyed, 85 percent manage or use more than one petabyte of data storage, up 12 percentage points from the previous year’s survey.

Survey respondents continue to take a nuanced approach to cloud adoption, the study said. Respondents planning to leverage cloud-based storage (encompassing both private and public clouds) for at least part of their data in 2017 rose to 48 percent, an 11 percentage point increase from 2016 survey results.

Despite a more positive disposition toward cloud storage, only 5 percent of respondents anticipated more than 30 percent of their data residing in the cloud. Some 40 percent of respondents anticipated using public cloud in some way as a solution in the coming year, even if for a limited amount of data. This compares with only 20 percent of respondents last year who said they anticipated using public cloud storage options.

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