How to Reduce Data Center Footprint?

A never-ending challenge for IT professionals is how to reduce data center footprint. One of the best places to start is storage and, more specifically, backup storage. It is typically 10X of production storage capacity, which means backup storage can take 10X of the data center footprint and require 10X the power and cooling. 

The need for more capacity in backup storage leads many customers to believe that scale-out storage, while not space-efficient, is their only option. Vendors claim that scale-out storage is far superior to scale-up storage, which scales by buying multiple independent systems and significantly increasing the cost of management. 

The reality is that both scale-up and scale-out storage build their solutions on top of decades-old, legacy storage software engines, and neither can reduce the backup storage footprint. Because of the limitations of their obsolete engines, these legacy vendors can’t take advantage of performance-dense and capacity-dense innovations in storage hardware. 

IT needs and has another option, High-Density Backup Storage.  High-Density systems differentiate from legacy systems by leveraging a new, efficient storage engine, enabling the use of these dense hardware solutions without compromising data access. These solutions can deliver hundreds of thousands of IOPS from a handful of flash SSDs, scale to 3PBs of capacity in 10U of rack space and recover from a hard disk failure in less than three hours without impacting performance. 

How High-Density Backup Storage Reduces Data Center Footprint 

• Increases capacity per rack unit 

• Increases performance utilization per rack unit

• Increases the number of use cases per backup storage target

High-Density Backup Storage Reduces Data Center Footprint

A High-Density Backup Storage Architectures reduces the data center footprint while delivering better performance and capacity expansion than legacy scale-up or scale-out designs. High-density storage is a modern approach to backup storage that can extract the higher per drive performance from flash drives and enable customers to use high-capacity hard disk drives without compromise. 

StorONE powers S1:Backup with our modern storage engine to enable a High-Density Storage Architecture. It enables customers to use modern 18TB or 20TB HDDs without concern over RAID rebuild times or limited drive redundancy settings. S1:Backup can recover from a high-density drive failure in less than three hours, and it can use 90% of the available hard disk drive capacity without impacting performance. A dual-node S1:Backup solution, leveraging its high-density storage architecture, can scale to 15PBs or more of storage capacity, which is 3X the capacity per cluster of legacy scale-out designs. 

Backup Storage Consolidation Reduces Data Center Footprint

The technology that drives a high-density architecture enables it to deliver very high performance from just a few flash drives. As we discussed in our whitepaper, “Reducing Storage Costs with Maximum Drive Performance,” modern flash drives can deliver 500K IOPS plus in performance. The High-Density Storage architecture’s ability to extract 80% of the rated performance of modern flash drives means it can deliver hundreds of thousands of IOPS from just a few drives. 

The optimal use of flash drives helps customers in two critical ways. First, it introduces flash storage into backup architectures to collapse backup windows, increase the backup frequency and improve recovery times. However, the efficiency of high-density storage fulfills customers’ expectations that backup storage is significantly less expensive than production storage. 

StorONE data center footprint

Second, the intelligent use of flash, once again, reduces data center footprint consumption because it can deliver more performance from 5 or 6 drives than other systems can in 24 or 48 drives. The onslaught of ransomware plus the never-ending requirement to return to operations quicker means backup storage needs to backup and recover faster than ever. When implemented as part of a high-density system, Flash enables better ransomware recovery, as we discuss in our blog, “Ransomware-Proof Your Backups.”

High-Density Backup Storage Can Consolidate Backup Storage and More

Another way to reduce data center floor space is to increase the number of use cases that a single storage system addresses. The problem is that most storage systems are single-purpose. The purpose-built trend is pervasive with backup storage solutions. Vendors’ continued dependency on legacy storage software creates inefficiency, limiting their solutions’ ability to address more than the most basic backup storage use case. 

The problem with single-purpose backup solutions is protecting the organization from new threats like ransomware, and to meet users’ expectations of rapid recovery windows, the number of use cases required by the backup architecture is expanding rapidly. These conditions force IT to respond with multiple storage solutions within the backup use case, increasing overall backup storage costs and its consumption of data center floor space. 

A high-density backup storage architecture has performance characteristics that enable them to be the storage area for protected-production data, backup metadata while also delivering standby storage services in case of a catastrophic failure of the production systems. The capacity, data integrity, and zero-migration upgrade capabilities of the high-density storage architectures enable them to provide long-term backup storage retention and be an archive for more file-driven workloads. S1:Backup uses StorONE’s S1 engine to create a High-Density Backup Storage solution to address all backup use cases. Using our 360° Ransomware Protection, a single S1:Backup environment can protect your protected data, protect backup metadata, and provide an industry-first Standby Storage capability. 

Learn More

• S1:Backup Product Page 

• Live Webinar: Scale-Out Backup Storage is Broken

• Whitepaper: Designing a Modern Backup Infrastructure

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George Crump

George has over 25 years of experience in the storage industry, holding executive sales and engineer positions. Before joining StorONE, he was the founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland.

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