By Chuck Gerstner, Solution Architect, Data and Storage Practice, Logicalis US

It is a truism in the data center that reducing storage complexity is directly linked to increasing storage efficiency. By exploiting the innovations and advances that have reduced complexity, we can free up the resources to evaluate and explore the technologies that improve efficiencies in our storage infrastructure.

There have been two key advances that have greatly simplified the operational management of today’s storage infrastructure:

  • The first advance — for those who can afford it — has been the all flash array (AFA).  With an AFA, the time and effort previously expended around performance, data placement and tiering considerations have been eliminated.
  • The second advance has been greater simplification of management interfaces, large improvements in the functions that array software can deliver via policies and web scale approaches to automated product support.

Common Interfaces

Many established vendors have taken the improvements in interfaces beyond single products to provide a common interface across many products which, in turn, has led to easier deployments and lower ongoing management costs.

Common interfaces and common services among products have also provided greater opportunities to evaluate and implement the various data-reduction services and tiering options being delivered to our infrastructure.

Infrequently accessed block data continues to present one of the best use cases for tiering within the infrastructure. When coupled with data-reduction techniques, we can gain efficiency by placing the data on the component(s) within the infrastructure that best match the requirements of the business.

Additionally, storage snapshot technologies (especially “redirect-on-write”) coupled with deduplication and compression have created almost capacity-free copies of production data that is almost instantly available to development and quality assurance (QA) users on the same infrastructure components as the production data.

This capability has greatly improved how quickly application changes or new applications can be brought online. Similarly, and more importantly, based on growth rates, tiering (now with public cloud options) and data reduction for unstructured data represents potentially even larger efficiencies as these environments continue to expand.

Want to learn more? Download this Logicalis white paper on flash storage: Changing the Pace of Business. This data brief discusses Six Data Storage Challenges and How to Solve Them. You can also take our two minute quiz: Is Your Data a Liability or an Asset? Or watch this IT Quick Tip video on Data Storage. And you can learn more about our data and storage management solutions on our website