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  • Hybrid and AFA storage array types battle for dominance

    The debate still rages over whether all-flash arrays will make hybrid arrays obsolete, and cost is not all that matters when reviewing storage array options. Continue Reading

  • AFA storage advances may mean the end of the hybrid market

    Flash price drops and speed boosts make the all-flash array the smart choice over hybrid storage arrays for most enterprise users, not just those with high-performance computing needs. Continue Reading

  • VMware Virtual Volumes provide path out of legacy storage

    There's been an uptick in interest in VMware Virtual Volumes technology, which moves away from legacy storage and more into the virtualization realm. These vSphere features enable policy-based storage management and are intended to speed up provisioning and simplify storage management. This handbook looks at whether these claims hold up and identifies which problems VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) can solve. Also included are comparisons of VVOLs to other virtual vendor storage options, such as HP's 3PAR StoreServ or Tintri's VMstore T5000 all-flash series.

    VMware Virtual Volumes apply storage capabilities to a VM through policies, meaning admins don't need to perform these duties manually. This sort of efficiency is appealing, but effectively implementing VVOLs requires proper guidance. Before implementing VMware Virtual Volumes, look into what the product needs. Not all vendors support VVOLs, so make sure your environment is a good fit before jumping in.

    There are also questions of how VVOLs interact with modern storage systems, such as an all-flash array. While it's more complicated than simply migrating from legacy storage, there are scenarios where VVOLs can coexist with modern systems.

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  • Rumors of the hybrid storage array dying may not just be hype

    Innovations in flash memory have led to changes in the cost and performance of flash SSDs, prompting some to speculate if we'll see hybrid storage wither away. Continue Reading

  • Buyer's checklist to hybrid flash arrays

    All-flash arrays are a hot technology, but not everybody needs flash for all of their storage. Hybrid flash arrays can strike a balance between using flash for performance while keeping spinning disk drives to lower the price for less frequently accessed data. Flash storage offers blazing speed but at a high cost per gigabyte.

    At the other end of the spectrum, multi-terabyte hard disk drives (HDDs) are more economical, but they do not supply the raw IOPS per drive that some applications need. Hybrid flash arrays combining HDDs and a thin slice of flash storage can provide a performance boost and reduce latency while keeping costs in check. Although the difference between HDD prices and flash costs has narrowed considerably, many organizations still don't have the budget to deploy hundreds of terabytes of solid-state storage. Despite differences in architectures, the vendors generally agree on some hybrid vs. all-flash guidelines. If sub-millisecond latency or guaranteed quality of service (QoS) is required, then an all-flash array or a hybrid flash array that can deliver near all-flash performance is the way to go. But with variable and unpredictable workloads, hybrid flash arrays can often serve the need at a lower $/GB.

    Candidates for hybrid flash arrays include collaboration, email and any applications where data lifecycle issues mean that not all data requires immediate access.

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  • VDI performance issues begin at storage infrastructure

    VDI performance issues which can be traced back to storage infrastructure are limiting user adoption of virtual desktop implementation. Continue Reading

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