If you’re, ahem, a certain age, like me, you remember when the SAN was first introduced. It was a radical leap forward in shared enterprise storage.
The current zeitgeist of software-defined storage is a similar revolution – intelligent software that transforms and repurposes heterogeneous commodity hardware into a distributed, enterprise-class storage platform. In effect, it’s transforming all available storage resources and media into shared, unified storage. This makes sense to mid-to-large size enterprises and often departments within a larger enterprise.
What does not make sense any longer is continuing to pour effort and upgrades into a full SAN solution, both for cost reasons and efficiency reasons. Being of a certain age, we’ve been through sea changes before, and we can see the massive wave descending on the traditional SAN…
Today, IT and data help drive the business; online business practices, rich media, IoT, and Big Data analytics are opening up new ways to compete and grow. As a result, business data volumes are growing at over 50 percent per year, putting more and more demands on storage: more capacity, more complexity, and more difficulty managing the infrastructure to maintain storage performance. At the same time, some systems are on the edge of their scalability and lifecycle, significantly increasing risk.
Increased storage capacity means more storage hardware. Increased complexity and multiple storage systems mean management overhead and specialized skills. Costs are increasing, both CapEx and OpEx, while IT budgets aren’t keeping pace.
This isn’t a matter of getting a bit more life out of an aging SAN – that’s a problem a larger enterprise would be lucky to have. Saving money is important, but so is adding agility and minimizing risk.
This need for more flexible and manageable storage platforms is critical for businesses relying on innovations like web-based transactions, mobile or cloud apps, interactive media, and high-end databases, all of which are constrained by performance and capacity. We developed ioFABRIC Vicinity Server SAN with advanced automation for data orchestration that adapts in real-time as demands and workloads change, including performance and capacity allocation.
Data availability, recoverability, and protection were always the winner features of the enterprise SAN, and they still are for software-defined storage. Keeping those mission-critical applications running and preventing downtime is simple with Vicinity’s built-in high availability, snapshot, recovery, and automatic healing features. Dynamic replicas ensure data integrity and prevent idle downtime, and because Vicinity monitors and automatically moves data to faster or more cost-effective older storage as needed, overall productivity can even be enhanced.
The SAN was a fundamental change for enterprise storage. Software-defined storage is a seamless, easy, and non-disruptive way to get those SAN advantages without continuing to invest in a physical SAN – all at a fraction of the cost of traditional configurations (meaning expensive, vendor-locked enterprise hardware).
But don’t completely give up on that SAN, and the substantial investment it represents; Vicinity can re-use it, integrating it with other existing storage systems, plus newer flash and cloud storage too. You can teach an old(er) dog new tricks! Find out more about ioFABRIC Vicinity Server SAN.