6 Must-Haves for Storage Consolidation
Many IT organizations find themselves dealing with storage sprawl which results in an infrastructure that is difficult to manage, often underutilized and frequently escalating in cost. Much of this has to do with virtualization and the ensuing increase in storage systems required to support virtualized environments. Another factor is the increasing pressure IT is under to meet the urgent business needs of the day. Some refer to this as being “agile,” but it often reflects the IT organization’s limited bandwidth to think about the organization’s storage needs more strategically.
Watch George Crump, Lead Analyst for Storage Switzerland and
Randy Arseneau, CMO of INFINIDAT talk about how
to go from storage sprawl to storage spry.
The remedy for storage sprawl is consolidation onto a platform that can readily adapt to different workloads. For those IT organizations that are willing to combat storage sprawl through consolidation, the benefits are many: more efficient administration and management, increased storage utilization and lower operating costs. But what are some of the important characteristics you need to look for in a potential storage consolidation platform? Here are six key things that you need to consider:
In order to consolidate down onto one platform, you need a system that can deliver and sustain high levels of performance across mixed and consolidated workloads. This is essential because in a consolidated model, you no longer have highly specialized solutions for any one of your workload environments. That means a flexible solution that can easily adapt to different workloads within a single environment, while continually delivering high performance, is required.
When you consolidate more workloads onto a single platform, the need for reliability becomes equalized across the different workloads. And it’s the most critical workloads that will set the bar for the levels of reliability that are required for all. In effect, your fault domain decreases meaning that component reliability and systems reliability of the highest possible levels become of paramount importance.
Next, look for a platform that enables greater storage utilization without driving up costs with expensive storage services. In environments where a lot of storage sprawl exists, you tend to get very low levels of utilization and that’s because you have workloads that are very targeted at specific platforms. You end up with a lot of waste because you have systems that aren’t being used to their fullest capacity which, in turn, drives up your costs.
The next thing to consider is density. We all know that space in the data center is at a premium. In order to alleviate costs, it helps to have a system with high areal density. And that’s because the more data you can store in a single floor tile, and the lower the power consumption ratio, the more favorable consolidation becomes from a dollars and cents perspective.
5) Ease and Simplicity
In addition to realizing efficiency and productivity gains, you’ll also want to make sure that the platform simplifies overall storage administration. You’ll want to minimize the amount of training that is required so IT staff can get up and running quickly. Additionally, leaving an environment of multiple, disparate platforms behind will cut down on overall management complexity resulting in added efficiencies over time.
Last, but not least, is scale. You’ll need a system that can handle large volumes of data and large working set sizes because as you consolidate onto a single platform in a mixed workload environment, you’ll have working set sizes that really run the gamut from less than a terabyte to multiple petabytes depending on the application. Another important thing to note is that you need to be able to scale in both performance and capacity. Not only that, you’ll need to be able to scale those aspects independently of one another in order to tailor the environment to suit your workload mix which will inevitably change over time.