Is Storage Important?
When we have too much “stuff” in our lives or homes, we use storage. We use attic space, basements or storage units to store all of the additional items we want to keep but no longer have room for around our house. We pack things up in boxes, label our items and store them until we need to use them. But what do we use for our technical storage?
There are many types of storage that one could recommend but the consumer who needs the storage first needs to identify their requirements.
As part of our consultants/engineers daily tasks, we must work with our clients to gather the requirements for their storage needs. Some requirements are simple; will the storage be used for archival data? While others are complex; will they be used for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment? There are times when storage arrays will be brought in to one project and end up being deployed to provide storage space for a totally different project. Most importantly storage needs to be flexible, agile and easy to deploy in today’s environments. Dell’s line of storage products provides all the above and more.
Dell’s product line-up is comprised of everything from SAS connectivity (1Gb iSCSI, 10GbE iSCSI) to Fiber Channel. Their available options start with the PowerVault line (smaller scale deployments) then venture into their EqualLogic line (which scales from small to enterprise class deployments) and ends with their Compellent Series (mid to enterprise deployments).
The requirements that Red Level Networks helps its customers gather, plays a large role into the direction of the recommendation for a storage solution. Red Level Networks will perform metrics gathering using Dell’s DPACK; a tool to quickly identify certain storage requirements based on how it is currently utilized. Some of these metrics include IOP requirements, physical space requirements and more. Red Level Networks also gathers much more in-depth metrics using capacity planners that will monitor your environment for up to 30 days so we can capture all the peaks and valleys of your data usage.
Here are 10 simple questions to answer that will help you identify what storage platform you might need:
- What will this storage be used for? (archival, virtualization, VDI, other)
- How many host(s) will connect to this array?
- What type of connectivity is required? (SAS, iSCSI, Fiber)
- Do you have the switching infrastructure to support iSCSI/Fiber?
- What type of host(s) will be connecting: Windows based, VMware, Xen, Linux?
- Do I need multiple array types? (Near-line SAS (SATA), 10k SAS, 15k SAS, SSD/Flash)
- What type of RAID array(s) do you need: (RAID1, RAID10, RAID5, RAID6, RAID50)
- Do you need multiple RAID array types?
- How much storage space (capacity) do I need: (this is USABLE not RAW)
- How much growth do I expect over the next 12, 18, 36 months? (what percent, then add that to your capacity of usable space needed)
- How many IOPS do you need?
Not sure if you can answer all these questions, no problem, just give Red Level Networks a call and we will work with you to help identify your requirements from a business perspective as well as from a technology perspective. We have been deploying storage solutions for over 10 years now from simple DAS solutions to highly available, geographically separated, enterprise-class solutions.