Thursday, 15 March 2018 20:30

Is it time to sweat those storage assets?

By Greg Wyman, VP Asia Pacific, ioFABRIC

Storage takes a substantial percentage of total IT budget, yet storage vendors tell their customers that it needs to be replaced every three to five years. Why?

Think of all those spinning disks twirling around at 15,000, 10,000, 7,200 or 5,000 rotations per minute. All that electricity. All that rack space. With all that heat generated, of course you are sweating over your storage assets, rather than sweating them.

Think about all the management headaches, cost and complexity with provisioning, capacity planning, backup and disaster recovery products and then, if a restore is needed - all that downtime, assuming that your backup product worked. 

And every four years a business ‘needs’ to migrate all that data to new storage, which looks suspiciously similar to what you had. All that waste!

Remember all those years ago when pretty much everyone said “Virtualisation will never take off. No one is going to run multiple applications on a single server. Database companies won’t support a database in a virtual environment.”?

Well, storage is going through the same massive transformation – it is called Data Virtualisation, or more specifically, Objective Defined Storage. This is where you set the objectives for an applictaion – performance, capacity, reliability and cost, and the rest is fully automated driving lightning fast performance and delivering previously unattainable levels of data reliability. The end result is always-on access to your data and true business continuity.

Today, in addition to sweating those storage assets, Objective Defined Storage can drive them harder than ever before. Slow disks are automatically re-purposed to less demanding roles.  RAM, Intel Optane, NVMe, SATA SSD’s get promoted to ensure all hot and warm (active) data is where it needs to be to drive exceptional performance.

Users are able to have unlimited cloud scalability as stale, aged and cold (inactive) data is automatically moved off the production storage array to AWS or AZURE, or to high capacity, low cost commodity hard disks – freeing up on average 80 per cent of expensive storage capacity.  To deliver superior performance simply add RAM Disks, NVMe, SATA SSD’s to each host. Ultimately, it is only about reliability. The future is a self-healing data fabric that is totally hardware agnostic. You can have any storage from any vendor. 

This is Objective Defined Storage. This is sweating storage assets to reduce costs, eliminate complexity and drive lightning performance while delivering an even greater degree of reliability.

To ensure that users are sweating their storage assets, and they are not sweating the user – your storage platform requires three core outcomes:

  1. An AI software-driven platform that is totally hardware agnostic. Manage any storage, from any vendor and deliver the ability for data to move freely and ubiquitously across all storage. Data movement should be dependant upon each application’s requirements. Fast data needs to move to RAM and Flash, warm data to flash and inactive data is placed on inexpensive slower spinning disks or the cloud, for example AWS or Azure.
  1. Data should be always-on, always fast and always affordable. Downtime and business disruption should not exist. Data drives the business, and it needs to be always available, even with multiple simultaneous storage failures. Data should self-heal as required with multiple Live Resilient Instances in multiple locations, including the cloud.
  1. Simplicity. A single dashboard enables monitoring of performance, capacity and resilience of its data regardless of underlying storage vendor. Deployment should be non-intrusive and take less than 60 minutes. The data fabric should be self-managing and require minimal user involvement.

The outcome is surprising simple: exceptional value. Use existing storage or replace it with high performance, lower cost commodity x86 hardware for inactive data. For active (hot and warm) data, leverage RAM “off the shelf” NMVe or SATA flash that delivers superior performance at a fraction of the cost of vendor specific brands.

For everyone still using monolithic, expensive storage products, their storage assets are probably sweating them. If you have made the transition to an Objective Defined Software platform, you are now sweating your storage assets and driving exceptional value to your bottom line.


Greg Wyman,

Vice President Asia Pacific – ioFABRIC.

122 Arthur Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060 .

+61 (0)402 259 359

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