CIOs envision the promise of business agility that is offered by cloud services, and are rethinking how they can modernize IT service delivery. As a result, IT pros all face the fear of being outsourced, and realize traditional data center infrastructure is challenged with the complexity, performance, and cost to scale to meet the promises of the cloud. Software defined storage (SDS) is overcoming the challenges and providing enterprise customers the agility and efficiency they crave. Intel® Solid State Drive (SSD) technology is at the center of modernizing the design of data center infrastructure. IT users need to learn how to apply SSD technology and hyper-converged storage in an effort to keep pace and avoid the dreaded outsourcing.
SDS is storage that can be installed in standard Intel based servers offering file-, object-, block-, and hyper-converged compute and storage services. The growing proliferation of server side storage with SSDs is becoming the new norm in the storage industry with more and more hyper- converged storage solutions being announced on a regular basis.
This is a positive change that is causing IT to rethink their approach to business as usual. Whether used to accelerate existing applications or in modernization of the data center, businesses are realizing the benefits and adoption is growing. The power and space savings are compelling, but there are other benefits of enhanced performance and simplicity of administration that extend to end users in terms of increased productivity.
Time to Modernize Data Center Storage
IT shops faced with the need to deliver improved responsiveness, cost effectively, and business agility need to consider SSD technology. Enterprise customers are modernizing their data center storage with new caching, hybrid and hyper-converge methods.
One approach is to apply Intel® Cache Acceleration Software (Intel® CAS)) to accelerate existing storage systems. Intel CAS offer a means by using an Intel® SSD as a cache for data that is frequently accessed. By storing a copy of "hot" data in the SSD, applications run faster while preserving the investment in existing infrastructure. By applying Intel CAS key applications receive extra performance at critical times or to meet the requirements of a specific service level agreement (SLA).
Another method is a hybrid appliance, such as Nutanix, which combines Intel® SSD as cache to low cost hard disk drives as capacity storage. This hybrid approach can be merged with existing storage infrastructure or as a standalone storage array at a fraction of the cost of traditional storage while delivering improved reliability.
VMware hyper-converged Virtual SAN storage is a unique approach to modernizing data center storage by simplifying storage provisioning and management for vSphere environments. Virtual SAN delivers all flash performance by combining Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® SSD per host with robust storage features. Customers are turning to Virtual SAN as a cost effective approach to run their mission critical applications. As shared in Ken LeTourneau’s blog, The Kroger Company, a large US-based grocery retailer, faced the challenge of delivering Cloud-like SLAs for their business critical analytics. They turned to Virtual SAN when they realized their existing fibre channel attached storage struggled to keep up. Virtual SAN delivered with 33x the performance at a fraction of the cost. Besides performance gain and cost savings, Kroger realized the business agility offered by virtual SAN allowing them to keep their mission critical application on premises – avoiding the dreaded outsourcing.
The business value is real, providing confidence that these solutions have the scalability, flexibility, and reliability required to support rapid adoption. As a result, business are adopting quickly and accelerating as IT pros see the results of others.