The business case for scale-out storage

In last week's post, we looked at a few of the key architectural requirements for a scale-out storage infrastructure, including a unified 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) network that supports diverse protocols. Today, we’ll look at some of the business benefits of scale-out storage.

Lower capital cost—Scale-out storage arrays typically cost less than enterprise-class storage. On a price/terabyte basis, some scale-out arrays sell for half the price of conventional enterprise storage systems. When you’re adding storage often to keep pace with data growth, these upfront savings become more important.

Lower operational costs—Scale-out storage architectures can deliver operational savings via management simplicity. With a unified 10GbE network, you have fewer protocols to manage and fewer management tools to buy, use, and maintain. And the tools you use tend to be lower-cost, thanks to open standards.

High availability backup and recovery—Scale-out storage can provide continuous high-availability backup and recovery, as you would get with more expensive storage. You’re just getting the benefits at a better price. Scale-out storage allows you to keep your backup data more accessible than it would be with conventional tape-based backup and an offsite data infrastructure. With near-real-time data, you’re poised to quickly bounce back from a failure or a disaster. Think hours instead of days.

Cloud benefits—Scale-out storage allows you to deploy a private cloud that delivers the cost benefits that Tier 1 public cloud providers realize. And when you have your storage in a cloud environment, you are better positioned to eventually move non-critical content to a public cloud. All that video you’re storing? How about moving it to a public cloud?

Examine scale out storage solutions from EMC, NetApp, Compellent and others. You may find some surprising results. … and if you don’t, let us know why not?