What storage specialists REALLY want?
The results are in! Storage specialists really care about their challenges, not their vendors’ products. Ultimately, they purchase products to solve these challenges. Typically, as customers consider the potential solutions they find themselves in the unenviable position of compromising on one or more product features - performance, availability, or cost. If a product solves multiple issues at a compelling price point, the customers start caring about the product.
When customers were asked by Enterprise Storage Forum about the biggest challenge involved with operating their current storage infrastructure, they replied:
What is the biggest challenge involved with operating your current storage infrastructure?
Source: Enterprise Storage Forum
We read through the data and asked ourselves “Is INFINIDAT aligned with what customers are asking for?” Good news, we are. Let’s explore some of the top responses and INFINIDAT’s alignment…
Security and compliance costs can be mitigated in many ways, but with GDPR, AB375, NYDFS Cybersecurity, and so many other privacy regulations, the cost of making even the slightest mistake can be very damaging. At the same time, hackers are constantly attempting to breach your safeguards and steal your data. What can IT do to support the business and prevent a PR disaster?
The answer is very simple: encrypt the data. This way, the hackers stealing the data will not have any access to it. What’s more: GDPR Article 34 states that if encrypted data is stolen there’s no requirement to notify any affected parties! So what does this have to do with storage?
Many storage vendors rely heavily on data reduction techniques, such as deduplication and compression, to offset their expensive hardware and media costs. However, there’s a hitch when it comes to securing that data - encryption eliminates the ability to perform data reduction! There’s no ideal compromise - fail to encrypt your data and risk the exposure vs. encrypt it and watch your dedupe and compression savings go out the window. Customers who want to encrypt higher in their stack are stuck with an expensive storage system that promises high capacity efficiency but costs more than anticipated. The mismatch between expectations and reality could be attributed to many of the vendors’ data reduction guarantees, which either explicitly or implicitly exclude encrypted data.
InfiniBox offers unique value, without compromise, as it is doesn’t rely on expensive media to drive performance and provides exceptionally cost-effective capacity at petabyte-scale even when the data is encrypted higher in the stack.
High Cost of Operations
The high cost of operations is not just about the power/cooling required to operate your storage hardware. It’s also about the time required to keep it running, and the number of employees required to do so.
InfiniBox is exceptionally easy to operate, with a comprehensive GUI and API. It requires the lowest number of Full-Time Employees to manage petabytes (PB) of data, thanks to a lot of automation and self-healing. At the same time InfiniBox offers up to 4.2PB usable (before data reduction) in a single floor tile and consumes just 8kW/h. THAT is efficient! Want more proof - see the Forrester TEI study research for more details.
Lack of Storage Capacity
INFINIDAT offers its customers a unique business model for growing their capacity: Tell us what you need today, and how much you expect to grow in the future. We’ll deliver a system large enough for your expected growth and you only pay for what you use now. When you have that really bad day, the one that starts with someone saying “I forgot to tell you last month, but we need 100TB allocated for a new product and we need it today”, you simply use the available installed capacity and notify us. The price for additional capacity is already negotiated in the original deal - no surprises, no waiting for procurement, shipment, racking & stacking - you get the elasticity of cloud storage in your own datacenter!
InfiniBox’s unique architecture is designed to provide unmatched capacity utilisation levels while supporting diverse workloads at a very consistent level of performance!
Ageing gear, like data migration, is always a big hassle and involves an element of risk. Hardware components have a “U” shaped failure curve, an inverted normal distribution curve. The issues either happen at the very beginning or at the end. Some components are dead on arrival or “die young”. With time, the failures typically stabilise, with no failures for many years. Past a certain point, the failure rate increases dramatically. Ageing gear adds expensive service renewals to the already constrained IT budget. Proactive Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) teams need to procure the next storage system well in advance, allowing for time to migrate the data and avoid the extra risk and expense of ageing gear.
I really wish we could discuss the innovation we’re working on to address this challenge, but until we announce it officially, I can only say it’s going to solve the problem of ageing gear and reduce the cost of data migration. Stay tuned!
There are, of course, many other challenges we help our customers solve. Want to learn more? Download our INFINIDAT Storage Architecture white paper or contact us. We will show you how an innovative petabyte-scale storage technology can cost-effectively solve multiple storage challenges without compromise.
About Eran Brown
Eran Brown is the EMEA CTO at INFINIDAT. Over the last 14 years Eran has architected data centre solutions in all layers — applications, virtualisation, networking and most of all storage.
His prior roles include Senior Product Management, systems engineering and consulting roles, working with companies in multiple verticals (financials, oil & gas, telecom, software and web) and helping them plan, design and deploy scalable infrastructure to support their business applications.