Big Storage is Not Immune to Technology
A major challenge you likely face in this technological age is being able to take advantage of the latest advancements without upsetting the apple cart on which your business is currently running. The more integrated that technology is to your daily operations, the more challenging that task becomes. A perfect example of this is your enterprise storage system.
If you are like most businesses, the SAN is the backbone, managing petabytes of data for every imaginable purpose. Chances are you have a long and established relationship with the storage vendor, and hopefully they have delivered what they promised. They have been there to help you grow out your storage system as your needs expanded, adding more arrays and servers. Through the years, your relationship ma
y have become downright personal, and maybe you have your service rep’s first name on speed dial. For the moment, all seems well, which -- as you know -- is an invitation for a new technological revolution to come and change everything!
Beware the Green-Eyed Tech Monster
And so it was… in the span of a single day you went from “content” to “curious”. Perhaps it was while you were casually lying in bed one night, perusing the usual industry blogs, that you first saw an article about a new modern storage solution, like Reduxio. This storage solution boasted some truly amazingly capabilities -- like “Point in Time storage” that supports 1-second RPOs and “Follow the Sun Data” that allows you to replicate terabytes of data around the globe without eating up all the bandwidth. The whole thing sounds a little too good to be true, so you decide to bring in an expert.
You press that speed dial button and soon find yourself interrogating your storage rep… who also was in bed and appears not to share your enthusiasm on the subject. Cutting to the chase, you ask if his company offers any storage solution with these features, but he seems quick to dismiss it as something gimmicky that would be cost-prohibitive with minimum ROI, especially since your current system works “adequately”. He bids you a hasty “goodnight”, and you smartly decide to do your own research.
A few moments later, you are at the vendor’s web site and all your questions are answered. You are surprised to find that these new storage solutions are reasonably priced when compared to old-school offerings of the major vendors. But you also learn that they are limited to 150 terabytes of capacity, which is far less than the several petabytes of data your business manages. It would take a stack of 20 units just to replace the raw storage capability!
Your illusions of grandeur begin to fade into the stark light of reality, and in this new light you realize that it was never a feasible option to upgrade your entire storage system. Just the notion of starting over with a new storage vendor would tear at the fabric of your entire organization and only create disharmony and animosity across the business. Things are just too entangled.
In Technology, If You Can’t Get on the Fast Track, Take the Middle Road
Researching technology can leave you feeling like you stepped off a roller coaster. In one moment, you reach astounding heights and see only vast possibilities all around you. In the next moment, you are plummeted back to earth to deal with things as they are… from limited funds to long-term contracts. But does our relationship with technology really have to be all or nothing? Perhaps not… especially in the realm of storage solutions.
For instance, suppose that you really want the 1-second RPO capability of a modern storage solution, but it lacks the capacity you require. The question to ask is, “Does ALL of your data require that capability?” You should see if it is possible to separate out your data volumes into functional groups that you can offload to a new array.
Let’s say that you have personally witnessed too many software “updates” that do nothing more than crash the server and bring business to a halt for hours. If you had your application data stored on a modern array, you would have the capability to dial back those volumes to 1-second before the update was installed and resume business as usual … with no loss of data or need to wrestle with snapshots or re-sync volumes.
Or maybe your business routinely generates terabytes of data that needs to be shared expeditiously with global partners. These data volumes could be offloaded to a modern storage array, allowing the partners to take advantage of that array’s nearly-instant data replication ability.
The Best of Both Worlds Can Really Be the Best!
With a little bit of planning and reorganization, it is possible to take advantage of the latest in storage technology to benefit your business. It isn’t necessary to go “all in” or throw the baby out with the bathwater. Truth is, you have a nice established relationship with your enterprise storage vendor, and while they may not enjoy sharing that space with a new vendor, they will quickly come to realize that it is in their own best interest not to rock the boat… especially once they see what they are up against. Never forget that your storage vendor needs you too!
To learn more about how to bring modern innovation and solutions to your aging enterprise system, contact the storage professionals at Core Evolution Group.