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The financial sector was one of the earliest adopters of flash storage. The explanation is simple: in that industry, speed is a competitive advantage. Equities trading provides a good example. As traders began moving to automated systems, the speed of equities transactions increased until they were completing in milliseconds. Human traders could not keep pace, which placed the emphasis on fast IT infrastructure. A few milliseconds could translate into a significant competitive advantage. You might have thought random access memory (RAM) was the answer – and it was, initially. However, RAM is fast but volatile. To reduce risk and meet legal requirements – such as US Securities and Exchange Commission requirements for securities exchanges and member organisations (like stockbrokers) to capture and maintain consolidated audit trails of US transactions – equity trading applications have to record every transaction to non-volatile media. Flash is non-volatile, which means that when you t...

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