Inside Bigger, Faster, Greener Storage for Enterprises

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By Eric Herzog, CMO, Infinidat

Storage administrators continue to seek the “inside scoop” of how to make enterprise storage greener, faster, and bigger, while reducing costs (CAPEX and OPEX). It has been an ongoing challenge for tens of thousands of mid-size and large organizations around the world to manage capacity growth and application requirements, improve return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO), and meet the requirements of green IT to reduce data center footprints, energy consumption and carbon emissions.

This article will provide key insights to help buyers of enterprise storage systems navigate different strategies to improve their enterprise storage estate and make more informed decisions on how to implement a big, faster, greener, and substantially less expensive storage solution at scale. This article will provide you with guidance on what questions to ask and what to research online in order to get to the optimal solution for your organization.

Go Green with Storage Consolidation

Do you want your data infrastructure to be greener, like so many other companies that are driving sustainability in IT? A smart starting point to advance with green IT is to consolidate storage systems in your data centers. The reason is simple: consolidation of many systems into one or two storage systems means less power, less cooling, less floor space, and less to recycle upon retirement. This helps to reduce overall environmental impact, while reducing CAPEX, OPEX, and IT operations requirements. 

A traditional objection may be that the enterprise cannot get the same storage capacity by cutting down the number of arrays. That’s a myth. The way to eliminate this concern is to move to a multi-petabyte storage solution. The enterprise can actually increase capacity while reducing the number of individual arrays with better system availability and better application and workload performance, while delivering a more sustainable approach to the data center. 

There have been advancements in the technology to expand storage capacity by more than 70% while either keeping the power requirements the same or, depending on the solution, reducing the power usage per effective PB by more than 40%, making it greener to operate. 

Bigger capacity is better in the world of storage, but you don’t have to compromise a commitment to green IT. With recent technological innovations, enterprises can deploy high-performance storage systems – even the fastest all-flash arrays in the industry – with a smaller footprint and significantly less carbon emissions. 

Obtaining a bigger, faster, greener storage solution is no longer only a pipe dream. This three-pronged B.F.G. equation (Bigger, Faster, Greener) should be incorporated into an enterprise’s IT plan for 2023. Conventional thinking that an IT team must compromise one of the three factors to get the other two has gone out the proverbial window. Today, it is possible to take a “no compromise” approach. 

Reduce CAPEX and OPEX for Enterprise Storage

A byproduct of going green is the reduction of CAPEX, OPEX, and operational manpower. Using less power, less space and less manpower delivers cost savings. Efficiency becomes the mantra for managing the data infrastructure. The cost savings will be critical, as companies tighten spending and look for ways to save money, yet without compromising the applications and workloads that run the business or customer satisfaction. The focus should be on outcomes, not on IT operations. 

However, it almost sounds paradoxical. Conventional thinking would say that bigger, faster storage will result in higher costs and defy any green IT initiatives. This may sound “reasonable” in terms of the legacies of the incumbents. But the reality is that the world of storage has been evolving rapidly. 

Scale with Autonomous Automation

Autonomous automation is desirable for enterprise storage because this capability optimizes data placement and maximizes cache hits for the ultimate in self-managed storage with powerful application and workload performance. It gets smarter about current and new workloads the longer it runs in a storage implementation. Plus, the adoption of AIOps and DevOps expedites integration streamlines IT operations.

CIOs, CISOs and IT managers can take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to cyber storage resilience because, with autonomous automation, IT teams no longer have to micromanage or re-manage storage. The bigger capacity does not add management overhead because the additional capacity does not require additional attention. For example, the additional 70% capacity resides in the same single rack with no operational changes from previous arrays. This is the new standard in enterprise story today. 

Key Takeaways

It is possible to apply the B.F.G. equation to an enterprise or service provider / hosting infrastructure without compromising any one of the factors – bigger, faster or greener – for the sake of the others. You don’t need to lose large capacity or speed to go green. You don’t need to continue to enlarge your data center to use more energy and more space to increase capacity or performance. Petabyte-scale cyber storage makes consolidation possible, cost reduction accelerated, and autonomous automation desirable. 

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