4 Tips on Extending Your SAN’s “Expiry” Date

You’ve probably heard that traditional SAN and NAS systems are getting close to their expiry date, and I’d have to agree. Storage experts agree that their effective data center value (and their market share) is being eroded on multiple fronts: hyperconverged, cloud storage, distributed systems like Hadoop and Ceph, agile software-defined storage solutions, and more.

As we explored in our series on ‘Letters to the CIO’ a few weeks ago, traditional storage architectures – on their own – lack the flexibility to take on newer technologies and fit smaller budgets.

SAN systems, while often derided today as a “single point of failure,” are integral to the companies who use them, which is just about everyone. They grew out of a need in the market, but are now fraught with hardware incompatibility challenges, performance and capacity bottlenecks, and an increasing budgetary and energy footprint.

While some companies advertise the option of using heterogeneous technology, the reality is that the second you try to bring together different vendors, one or all will withdraw support. It’s not personal; they are just not equipped to support you!

You’ve invested in your SAN or NAS systems, so how do you move forward with innovative technologies like hyperconverged, cloud, and flash, without leaving those systems behind?

Here are a couple of thoughts on how you can start!

  1. Consider virtualizing your storage environment

Any suggestion that you scrap everything and start over is unrealistic, so let’s start with the basics. You’ve made a large investment in your current storage environment. Let’s get the best out of it.

Going virtual allows you to more easily manage and optimize your workloads, without having to invest in all-new hardware. Look for options that can use what you already have and double check their compatibilities with new technologies like cloud and flash to make sure they are future-proofed.

  1. Use products with an API

APIs give you an easy way to automate routine tasks and management of a new system with your existing systems. They are an important way to ensure that the newer parts of your infrastructure will continue to integrate with ongoing storage innovation.

  1. Add performance with hyperconverged in mind

Hyperconverged infrastructure allows you to easily add performance and (some) capacity to your system, although it can create its own storage silo. Typically, admins use hyperconverged for greenfield projects or standalone apps that require a lot of their own resources.

  1. Get the SAN Extender

Our software-only product makes it easy to add new capacity or performance as needed to your storage infrastructure. With newer hardware, you can optimize high-performing workloads to flash, and offload slow or static data to your SAN. This keeps your data where it should be, and you can get the best value out of all the storage you have.

Legacy systems are tried-and-true for a reason, but you’ll miss out on the benefits of new technologies if you don’t start planning now. Keep these tips in mind for getting the most of your SAN and making an easier transition for your infrastructure later.

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