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Key Considerations When Selecting a Hybrid Storage Array

A storage decision that many small, midsize and large enterprise organizations are trying to make regards what type of array to host their production data on. This often comes down to the selection of either an all-flash or a hybrid storage array. Since most organizations do not have the luxury of saying, “Money is no object,” the majority are, for now, selecting hybrid storage arrays to get flash-like performance for their most active application data while using disk to store the bulk of their application data. It as organizations evaluate hybrid storage arrays that there are key factors that they need to consider.

The top three (3) trends that are currently driving the adoption of hybrid storage arrays in enterprises and the evolution of technologies within them are:

  • Data center consolidation. Organizations are looking to use a fewer number or even ideally only one (1) storage array to host all of their application data. Many of today’s hybrid storage arrays offer the performance, scalability and network connectivity options at cost-effective price points to facilitate these data center consolidations.
  • Resource optimization. Once a hybrid storage array is deployed, organizations will need to optimize the available storage resources on it to store as much data as possible. All hybrid storage arrays now support thin provisioning and the majority offer compression, deduplication or both to maximize storage efficiencies.
  • Workload prioritization. Storing the data of a business critical application alongside the data of application that primarily archives data makes sense on the surface. However the business critical application may generate so many I/Os that I/Os from the archiving application never get serviced. Or the archiving application may get unexpectedly busy and negatively impact the performance of the business critical application. This makes it imperative that that hybrid storage array offer sophisticated automated storage tiering (AST) and quality of service (QoS) features to ensure that all of the applications that it hosts get serviced appropriated.

These and other hybrid storage array trends and features were covered in a webinar that I recently presented live and which is now available for on-demand viewing in this recorded YouTube video.

In this video, I go into more detail and examine:

  • To what capacity hybrid storage arrays scale overall, how much flash capacity they can hold and why the ratio of flash to disk capacity matters
  • What storage networking protocols hybrid storage arrays offer and how their support of these protocols affect data center consolidations
  • Why disk is still a viable and cost-effective means to store production data
  • The different ways that compression and deduplication are implemented on hybrid storage arrays and why organizations need to verify that the method in which they are implemented may directly impact capacity optimizations and performance of the applications hosted on the hybrid storage array
  • Why QoS is almost a “must-have” feature on any hybrid storage arrays that host multiple applications
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Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc.

Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

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