Scale-out is in

Editorial Type: Opinion Date: 2020-12-01 Views: 530 Tags: Storage, Scale-out, Strategy, Data Centre, Management, Deduplication, Storagecraft PDF Version:
Florian Malecki, International Product Marketing Senior Director, StorageCraft, breaks down why businesses should adopt a scale-out data storage approach

Around the world, data growth is increasing. IDC predicts that global data creation will increase from 33 Zettabytes in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025. IT teams must adapt to this surge by updating their storage strategies, but it's not just about having enough space. With ransomware threats growing and more employees working remotely, it's critical that data is secure and accessible.

Traditional data storage models come with challenges, including expensive hardware costs, and little flexibility when it comes to upgrading. Management is time-consuming, and since conventional storage lacks compression and deduplication, data isn't stored efficiently. Adding backup and disaster recovery is challenging, and migrating data is a massive undertaking when it's time to upgrade.

Many organisations are adopting scale-out storage solutions that eliminate these issues, but what is that?

Scale-out storage is network-attached storage (NAS) where the amount of disk space can be expanded by adding more drives to individual storage clusters, and more clusters as needed. A better way to protect and recover data, scale-out storage builds on the concept of clustering by adding features like data deduplication and compression, simplified remote management, and built-in backup and disaster recovery options. A business taking this approach will see time savings, increased efficiencies, and downtime reduction. Here are a few of the benefits:

Due to the pace at which data is growing, the increase in data silos, and different forms and sensitivity of data, managing storage infrastructure isn't always simple. By centralising the entire data infrastructure organisations are empowered to be more efficient, run backups and recoveries, and create uniform policies, which saves time and effort.

Inline deduplication and data compression can enable companies to use their storage more efficiently. The ability to buy more storage as needed is also beneficial. Since storage space is treated as one storage pool, IT admins can optimise the space used on each hardware piece - thus utilising any half-full drives.

With the growth of data, legacy systems are hitting their limits. That leaves businesses with the choice between trusting a third party by moving data to the cloud, or continuing to support their infrastructure through expensive upgrades. With object-based scale-out storage, businesses can future-proof their storage infrastructure. Companies can treat all storage as one global pool, instead of having storage scattered across locations and hardware. When upgrading, nodes and drives can also be added to the cluster.

No storage infrastructure is complete without a backup and recovery plan. Businesses must schedule backups, set retention policies, and replicate data to a variety of places, including off-site data centres, or using a cloud service provider.

A review of one company's IT infrastructure led to greater efficiency and cost-savings. With two expensive storage attached network (SAN) appliances reaching full capacity, it was crucial for the organisation to protect its data from any incident, including natural disasters or ransomware attacks.

A scale-out architecture allowed the company to add one drive at a time, making it ideal for large-scale unstructured data and backup targets. The company then shifted its secondary storage load from its existing SANs, providing off-site replication for compliance. As well as having enough scalability to support the organisation's future data needs, it can now recover data if a ransomware attack is ever successful since it is taking unalterable, immutable snapshots every 90 seconds.

When scale-out storage solutions can lower the TCO, save companies' management time, and protect from costly data loss and downtime, there's no reason not to switch. Traditional storage just doesn't cut it anymore.

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