2014 poised to be the year of Hybrid storage array

By : |January 29, 2014 0

NEWARK,USA: With better performance than traditional hard disk-based storage at significantly less expense than all solid state arrays, hybrid storage provides organizations with the increasingly desired speed of flash media without sacrificing the capacity or cost advantage of spinning disks for a storage solution that is well positioned to be among the most implemented throughout the upcoming year, say experts at Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for virtualized server and virtual desktop environments.

Standard hard disk-based arrays offer capacity at a low cost but they cannot keep up with today’s performance requirements. Solid state disks deliver high performance but cannot deliver the required capacity at a reasonable cost. Hybrid storage arrays are faster than hard disk drive-based arrays and less expensive than SSD-based arrays. They balance high performance with high capacity and often come with a full suite of features at a price that makes them an ideal solution for a wide range of industries and applications.

News touting the gains in IOPS of all-flash arrays continue to garner headlines but the reality is that for 99 percent of organizations, the performance gain far exceeds the needs of their business-critical applications. Those running specialized applications, such as real-time financial transactions, and those in the Big Data, HPC and scientific research environments may benefit from storage systems that can deliver 1 million IOPS, but most corporate business applications require only a fraction of this performance. Hybrid arrays can service the vast majority of high-performance workloads for a fraction of the cost of all-flash systems.This realization is being understood by both customers and those in the financial community, which has recently signaled its approval of hybrid systems through the overwhelming success of Nimble Storage’s IPO and subsequent gains in the company’s stock price. Investors have signaled that hybrid storage is a good investment and they expect that there is room for growth in the sector. The gains seen in Nimble’s stock offerings are in stark contrast to the fall in stock price of all-flash array provider Violin Memory.

                                 

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“The storage industry is at a bit of an inflection point in regards to the best approach organizations can take to satisfy the increasing needs of performance-hungry applications while staying true to the company’s bottom line,” said Rob Commins, Tegile vice president of marketing. “Hybrid storage that marries the best of SSD and HDD is poised to make tremendous gains this year. However, buyers still need to do the research as all hybrids are not created equal. Truly effective hybrid array solutions need to be engineered to address all the demands of the modern data center rather than simply be a combination of two disparate technologies sold as a single offering.”

Organizations looking to maximize their IT investment by adopting a hybrid approach to their storage infrastructure need to find solutions that deliver faster performance, higher capacities and robust data protection with near-instant recovery times while being affordable, efficient and easy to use. Among the features users should look for in a hybrid solution are:

True unified access of both block protocols (iSCSI, Fibre Channel) and file protocols (NFS and CIFS) to provide flexibility in solving business challenges with a single storage platform. This is more effective and less expensive than attempting to pull together multiple storage platforms to satisfy different storage requirements.

Optimized hybrid storage that intelligently uses SSDs with DRAM and flash in the data path to protect user data by storing it permanently on hard disks while using the faster technologies as a high-speed cache. This is a superior approach to solutions that rely entirely on flash for data storage, risking data loss through volatility of the medium.

Integrated data protection functionality such as automated snapshot schedules for recovery points, fully redundant metadata storage and replication that is designed to survive multiple disk failures in order to ensure continued availability of business-critical data.
Inline compression and deduplication utilized throughout the array to reduce the acquisition and operational cost of storage. Reducing all application data, not just secondary applications, can result in up to 75 percent less capacity used than alternative solutions.

Leveraging the benefits of SSDs throughout the data path, rather than as a tier of storage, to ensure every application receives a performance boost with flash storage. Combined with intelligent, application-aware software, the storage system can configure and optimize itself based on the application that uses it.

“Tegile Systems has pioneered a new generation of flash-driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price to help organizations solve storage challenges in virtual server, database and VDI environments,” said Commins. “We believe this is the year that more users than ever will discover just how hybrid storage arrays can gain the performance benefits of solid state without sacrificing the cost benefits of hard disk storage at the right price point.”

 

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