The number one responsibility for any enterprise storage system is to protect your data. Delivering data resiliency is job one for the StorONE Enterprise Storage Platform. The high performance and low-cost of the platform have no value if you can’t have complete data confidence. You can achieve better data protection and resiliency with an Enterprise Storage Platform than traditional standalone systems.
What is an Enterprise Storage Platform?
An Enterprise Storage Platform dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of storage infrastructure. The Platform is a hardware-independent software solution that consolidates all storage use cases (file, block, object, cloud) into a single operating environment. It is optimized to deliver the maximum rated performance of the hardware that IT selects for its storage infrastructure. The Enterprise Storage Platform delivers this efficient performance while also providing a complete set of enterprise storage services like protection from media failure, data corruption, and site disaster.
In this entry, we’ll look at how you can achieve better data protection and resiliency with an Enterprise Storage Platform.
Improving Data Protection
The performance capabilities of a storage solution are irrelevant if it puts data at risk. The lack of robust data protection capabilities also raises the overall cost of the storage infrastructure by forcing organizations to spend tens of thousands of dollars on complex backup software solutions. By rewriting storage software from the ground up, with a platform approach in mind, an Enterprise Storage Platform can provide unprecedented levels of protection without impacting performance. There are four critical components that a primary storage solution must provide to provide complete data resiliency: protection from media failure, protection from system failure, protection from data corruption or deletion, and protection from site failure.
Better Resiliency to Media Failure
The front line of data protection is protection from media failure. If a drive within the storage system fails, the storage solution must make sure that data is still accessible. Most systems still use RAID in some form to deliver this requirement.
The S1 Storage Platform uses vRAID, an advanced form of Erasure Coding to provide high performance, volume-specific protection. Users can select to survive any number of drive failures, depending on the number of drives in the solution. More importantly, the redundancy setting is adjustable by volume so that IT can ensure mission-critical applications have a higher level of media failure tolerance. In any configuration, vRAID has no impact on the performance of the system.
vRAID also enables IT administrators, to tune performance. In addition to setting the number of simultaneous drive failures, they want an application’s data to survive; IT can also set the number of drives that that vRAID distributes across. The more drives that vRAID stripes data across, the more application performance improves.
The other advantage of technology like vRAID is rapid rebuilds. When a drive fails only the data on the drive needs recovering, the platform does not need to do a complete block by block scan. Also, every drive in the system can participate in the rebuilding effort. The combination leads to fast rebuilds. Finally, there is no need for a global hot spare or even drive replacement. The S1 Enterprise Storage Platform will restore the impacted volumes to protected redundancy levels with the remaining drives.
vRAID is a foundational element in making sure you get better data protection and resiliency with the Enterprise Storage Platform as compared to a traditional standalone storage system.
Better Resiliency to Server Failure
High Availability ensures that a hardware failure within the platform doesn’t cause data inaccessibility. Most organizations implement the platform on a pair of servers. The S1 Enterprise Storage Platform uses both available storage servers to provide access to data so that the server hardware investment is better utilized.
Better Data Protection from Corruption or Deletion
Snapshots are standard today, but most storage solutions only have a very rudimentary offering. Typical snapshot features can only be triggered a couple of times a day and only retained for a few days. They don’t meet today’s data recovery and data retention requirements. As a result, most organizations make a significant investment in enterprise backup and replication software. An Enterprise Storage Platform, while maybe not replacing an organization’s backup solution, can significantly reduce its importance and the cost burden.
An enterprise storage platform provides an unlimited number of snapshots with an unlimited retention capability, without impacting performance. Given these snapshots capabilities, IT can now take snapshots as frequently as they choose and retain them for as long as they’d like. StorONE’s S1 Enterprise Storage Platform provides full use of the advanced snapshots, including read/write access, again without impacting performance. IT, with StorONE can use snapshots for golden master virtual machine images or as part of Dev/Test efforts. The only need for backup is for long-term cold storage.
S1’s snapshot capabilities not only deliver better data protection and resiliency with an Enterprise Storage Platform, but they also provide enable you to use snapshots for other use cases like golden masters to reduce storage consumption and use snapshots for application testing.
Better Resiliency to Disaster
Protecting a storage system from a site-wide disaster means the software must provide asynchronous replication. Again, replication is not new, but it isn’t straightforward to implement and operate. Since most data centers have multiple storage systems, they have to manage various replication instances. The Enterprise Storage Platform simplifies replication complexity. The platform can provide storage services to all uses cases (block, file, object), reducing the number of stand-alone storage environments to one. This consolidation means that the platform provides a single point of management for all the disaster recovery operations, which lowers costs and makes an arduous process much easier to manage.
The S1 Enterprise Storage Platform’s replication features can be synchronous, near synchronous, or asynchronous. The replication target does not have to be the same hardware or even the same media type. The remote system can have a unique snapshot schedule. The combination lessons the need for a backup application, and most S1 customers use the backup as the “restore of last resort.”
Conclusion – The Platform Better Protection and Resiliency
Today’s data centers want their storage infrastructure to perform better than ever while costing less. If, however, that infrastructure can’t provide the 100% data protection, all the other capabilities are irrelevant. The S1 Enterprise Storage Platform is designed first to never lose data and protects from all types of human and hardware errors. It also, as we ill explain in future chapters, provides maximum performance and significantly reduces storage costs.
In our next chapter, we will discuss the second most important capability of a storage infrastructure, to deliver the right level of performance to each use case it supports. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more and see a demo of the platform, please watch our on-demand webinar: “Introducing the Enterprise Storage Platform” or you can request a personalized demo by clicking here.
You can also register for our next live webinar, and get your questions answered in realtime by our experts. Our next live event covers an important topic, storage refreshes. Isn’t time to get off the storage upgrade merry-go-round.