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New Storage Technology: Should You Believe the Hype?

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New Storage Technology: Should You Believe the Hype?

By James Honey, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SolarWinds

As a child of the 1980s, there are particular songs, such as "Danger Zone," "Shout" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," that really take me back to the essence of that time period (RIP mullet). On the flip side, there are also times where current events make me think of ‘80s hits. Take today's storage market and the myriad of technologies and changes being discussed. Can't you just hear Public Enemy's classic "Don't Believe the Hype" playing in the background? I know I can.

There's so much hype in regard to different storage technologies that it can be overwhelming to keep up, let alone make a decision on what is right for your company. Add to this that you've also got to manage the pressures of business needs, storage performance needs, data protection, data growth and resource constraints, just to name a few.

Now, I might come off as pro old-school IT here, but I'm really not. Hyperconvergence, flash and cloud certainly have their place, but what I'm getting at is that the hype surrounding these is enough to make you think they're each the best thing since The Police's reunion tour, and by that I of course mean each has the power to be the end all, be all of your data center's existence.

But before you jump on any of these bandwagons, it's worth taking some time to review each trend and really determine if they're right for your environment by asking some key questions before buying in.

Hyperconvergence

Hyperconvergence is a software infrastructure solution that combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization resources in commodity resources. The promise is integrated technologies that provide a single view for the administrator. This makes it easier to deploy, manage, grow and support an environment because everything is tied together.

Questions to consider before buying in:

  • What do your VM workloads look like?
  • Do they all have similar resource requirements or are some VMs more demanding than others?
  • Do your resource needs (CPU, memory, storage, etc.) grow evenly or are some resources growing faster than others?

Flash Storage

Flash storage has been around for years, but over the last couple it has really grown, largely due to technological advances and dramatic reduction in cost. The promise of flash is higher performance, better durability, better cooling and denser form factors. This has led to claims that hard drives are dead and flash is all that is needed in your data center.

Questions to consider before buying in:

  • Do you have a need for high performance across your entire environment?
  • What is your capacity growth and how does it compare to performance growth?
  • Will your applications actually be able to take advantage of flash?
  • Do you have the budget for flash storage across all applications?

Cloud Storage

For years, people have been talking about the cloud and whether private or public cloud is the right solution. For our purposes, let's focus on public clouds. Over the last couple of years, we've seen more businesses adopt public cloud as part of their data storage environment. The promise includes allowing companies to access their data anywhere, freeing up IT resources, providing scalability to grow your business and reducing IT costs, to name just a few. This has led to claims of everything going to the cloud and that keeping storage on-premises is no longer ideal.

Questions to consider before buying in:

  • What happens if there is an outage, whether as a result of the cloud provider or your connection to them?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to support it?
  • How will you manage your data security and ensure protection against attacks?

These are, of course, just a few of the trending storage technologies that are currently being hyped in the market. Truth be told, each of them likely have a place in almost all data centers. To what degree each fits into your data center that you really need to figure out. Remember, just because a new technology solves certain data center problems does not mean it will solve all of them. Understanding your problems and where you want to take your business is the best way to be able to move past the hype of a new technology and really see the value that it can provide and where.

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About the Author

James Honey is a sr. product marketing manager for hybrid IT performance management software provider SolarWinds. He has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry focused specifically on storage technologies and virtualization solutions for SMBs to enterprise environments. His current role includes responsibility for all storage monitoring and management-related product marketing initiatives, including SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor.

Published Monday, October 19, 2015 6:39 AM by David Marshall
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