Why Storage Tiering is Relevant to You

Why Storage Tiering is Relevant to You

There are a lot of differing opinions floating around these days about “Storage Tiering” and the different methods of achieving it. Before we get into some of the popular approaches you’ll read about, let’s talk about why tiering is important.

The “need” for storage tiering stems from the fact that different types of drives have different performance metrics associated with them. When we talk about random IOPS, the following table indicates some rough sizing guidelines that architects can use to ballpark a solution.


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Not all data is created equal.

SAN’s and Storage Tiering: Difficult Situations Inspire Ingenious Solutions.  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” – Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence 

While it is self-evident people are created equal, it is also self-evident to IT professionals managing application infrastructure that not all data is created equal.

In the late 1980’s through the 1990’s, Information Technology was only used by a small number of distinct applications – Financial Systems, Document Creation and one or two custom applications, all with dedicated hardware.  Data sets were small.  For most companies, the number of applications that pushed the performance envelope could be counted on one hand.  The primary purpose of consolidated storage platforms in that era was enabling high availability for applications by providing redundant storage architecture and supporting clustering at the server level.

As database technologies, ERP applications, Electronic Data Interchange, Web-Enabled ecommerce applications, Business Intelligence, Multimedia and now social media have been integrated into all aspects of the enterprise, both the performance and capacity limits of storage architectures have been challenged.  [Read more…]

Finding a place for your stuff: 5 top storage solution questions to ask yourself

Storage always makes me think of the late, great George Carlin’s classic comedy routine about stuff.

“Sometimes you’ve got to move, you’ve got to get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff! You’ve got to move all your stuff. And maybe put some of your stuff in storage. Imagine that – there’s a whole industry based on keeping an eye on your stuff!”

Carlin had no idea. That’s because data – the kind of stuff IT decision makers lose sleep over – is growing at an mind-boggling rate and has made finding smart, cost-effective ways to expand hardware and virtualize storage one of their top priorities.

So how should you decide on the mid-range storage solution that’s right for your organization? Here are five questions to ask that can help you figure it out:

1. What’s the management interface? One claim virtually all storage vendors make is that their solution is easy to use, a benefit that’s usually centered around the graphical user interface (GUI). But don’t be fooled, it’s not simply about easy on-screen navigation – though that’s important. True ease of use depends on the functionality available in the GUI, elements like a visualized task flow, an integrated video instruction set and browser-based capabilities that allow for access from any platform. Remember, the degree of navigational difficulty that takes advantage of this sort of functionality varies widely between vendors. [Read more…]