– Rob Commins, vice president of marketing, Tegile Systems (www.tegile.com), says:
As we all know, application sprawl and data is growing exponentially because virtualization is enabling us to create and deploy applications faster and store data easier than any time in history. As we generate more data, we seek to preserve and protect our data with backup and replication, driving the demand for storage media even higher. The result is a significant challenge for IT departments, especially for those who want to consolidate IT infrastructure with cloud-based applications, virtualization and file sharing.
In order to maintain an efficient IT infrastructure that supports critical business operations and applications as virtualization becomes more pervasive, IT managers should look to rebalance their storage solutions. The means by which storage can be rebalanced includes: capacity, performance, compatibility, usability (fit for purpose), reliability, data protection and value for money.
Suggested action items necessary for rebalancing:
Look to store more data per unit of rack space. With today’s faster hybrid storage arrays more capacity can be packed in less than half the size of typical storage incumbents. Space in the data center is reduced along with power consumption.
Performance is always key in any discussion about storage. As performance increases, data processing time can be reduced from hours to just minutes – thus organizations need fewer servers, hard disk drives and fewer software licenses. The result of improved performance ultimately results in better services to an organization’s IT users.
In order to create a truly unified storage environment, arrays should easily integrate into existing enterprise storage environments without server-side agents so they can work alongside or replace incumbent arrays.
Make it easy on yourself. Make sure you can optimize virtual machines with just a few clicks so you can easily deploy many hypervisors or shares in minutes, not hours. Opt for systems that have graphs and customizable monitoring worksheets that make it easy to identify trends and issues for better planning and efficient optimization.
This is such an important consideration. Look for systems that have no single point of failure architecture that includes dual hot-swappable controllers, dual power supplies and hot disk spares. Ensure that data is permanently stored on hard disk drives rather than flash drives that can wear out quickly in enterprise environments. That way, you’ll enjoy a high level of resiliency to prevent both data loss and downtime without sacrificing performance.
Look to keep your applications online to improve recovery in the event of a problem. A great feature to consider is automatic snapshots and remote replication so critical machines can be backed up more frequently – that saves space and improves performance. And having the ability to roll back one machine or all machines to a previous state is a great feature. Ideally, only data that’s changed should be backed up – requiring less network bandwidth, hardware and administration.
Value for Money
Look for arrays with built-in data reduction technology so usable capacity is greater than raw capacity and look for systems that don’t require additional licenses for data backup features.
Following these guidelines will enable organizations that are budget sensitive with rapidly expanding storage infrastructures to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a high-performance storage model with all the functionality the modern data center needs.