Hybrid Storage is the Future

Despite what All-Flash Array (AFA) vendors will lead you to believe, hybrid storage is the future. The weakness of the all-flash array is not that it is all-flash. It is that the systems only flash. AFA vendors also only support only one type of flash. Look at the competition. They have an NVMe All-Flash Array, a SAS flash Array, and a QLC flash array. Why so many standalone arrays? Because these vendors don’t know how to move data between different types of flash automatically. So, they make YOU do it!

Hybrid Storage is the future because:

  • Flash media is still at a price premium versus hard disk drives
  • Availability of flash media is scarce, and prices are increasing
  • There are multiple types of flash media, each with a different use case
  • Any hybrid cloud strategy requires intelligent data movement between on-premises and the cloud
  • Better Storage Software can overcome hybrid performance and reliability concerns

Join StorONE and Seagate on June 10th for our live webinar “Overcoming the Flash Shortage of 2021” to learn more about why flash media is so hard to get, why prices are increasing and how to keep your data center moving forward without breaking your IT budget.

Hybrid Storage is a Better Value

AFA vendors are relentlessly trying to convince potential customers that flash drives are less expensive than hard disk drives. They’ve tried factoring in deduplication and even tried to calculate the cost of a drive slot in a drive enclosure. A hybrid storage solution with a correctly sized flash tier and a hard disk tier provides a much better value versus an AFA with deduplication. A hybrid storage solution powered by the StorONE S1:Enterprise Storage Platform delivers the performance you need at a price you can afford while enabling you to avoid the deduplication tax. We’ve proven time and again that “Deduplication is no Longer a Must-Have.

Hybrid Storage is More Available

As we reach the midway point of 2021, all technology is becoming increasingly difficult to find in stock. One of the most challenging items to find is flash drives. We see a classic economics lesson on supply and demand in action. Flash drive supply is constrained, and demand is higher than ever. As a result, we see flash prices increase 25% to 35% quarter on quarter. The increase in price makes the price delta between hard disk drives and flash even more pronounced.

Now, however, we may reach a point where you simply can’t get flash in quantity. Hard disk drives, although also constrained, are not nearly as hard to get as flash drives, making hybrid storage much easier to deliver. StorONE’s ability to run high-density hard drives (and flash drives) at 90% or greater utilization levels is a massive advantage for our customers. Our latest LightBoard video, “Debunking Deduplication, Let’s Do the Math!” explains the economic advantage of using the total capacity of the drives you bought.

Hybrid Storage is Required even for All-Flash

Someday we will return to an environment where flash media is more available and where many customers will decide that an AFA is best for them. Even in that era, the ability to intelligently move data between different types of flash-based media types has immense value. Today we have extreme-performance NVMe flash drives, high-performance SAS flash drives, and high-capacity QLC drives. NVMe flash drives come in two versions: one drive write per day and three drive write per day. In addition to the increased durability, the three drive write per day drives deliver better random write IOPS.

The AFA of the future includes multiple types of memory-based media. It is unreasonable to expect busy IT professionals to manually move data between these tiers or, worse, between two separate storage systems. StorONE can transparently move data between distinct types of flash media and hard disk drives.

Hybrid Storage is Cloud Ready

Almost every organization is already progressing on its cloud journey, and hybrid storage is the critical gateway. Hybrid storage makes it easier to move data to the cloud and, once in the cloud, it enables you to reduce overall storage costs by leveraging the cloud providers’ tiers. AFA vendors may dislike tiering. Cloud providers LOVE tiering. StorONE can seamlessly and automatically move data between tiers of storage. It has portable licensing between on-premises and cloud instances. It can transparently move data between ALL the tiers the provider offers.

Hybrid Storage is Predictable and Reliable

Claiming that hybrid storage is predictable and reliable is sadly the most controversial claim on our list. It shouldn’t be. With the right software, you can cost-effectively implement a reasonable high-performance flash tier and use almost all its capacity. Most StorONE customers show 99% of their IO coming from the flash tier. If 99% of your IO comes from the flash tier, your users get an all-flash performance without the organization paying for an all-flash array. And because StorONE can extract maximum performance per drive, you can meet all of your workload’s IO demands from 1/3 as many drives as our competitors require.

Hybrid Storage is the future

Reliability is also better with hybrid storage when StorONE powers it. The primary concern with hybrid storage is the rebuild times of hard disk-based volumes. StorONE’s record-setting vRAID can return volumes made up of 18TB hard disk drives to a fully protected state in less than two hours. Using an HDD tier with a flash tier also improves data protection—another controversial claim. With StorONE, you can take an unlimited number of snapshots and retain those snapshots indefinitely. Our hybrid storage offerings can move old snapshot data to a lower tier automatically and transparently, reducing the cost of retaining data.

Conclusion

The future of storage is hybrid storage. Given the current supply and demand problem facing the flash storage market, the hybrid architecture’s price advantage increases. As more memory technologies appear on the market, the ability to move data between them is critical. Nowhere is hybrid storage more important than the cloud. The ability to support multiple tiers of storage and place workloads anywhere; physical on-premises, virtual on-premises, and the cloud gives our customers the ultimate in flexibility and TCO reduction.

Hybrid storage powered by StorONE delivers a minimum TCO to your organization while providing maximum data protection.

Again, join us for our live webinar “Debunking Deduplication, Let’s Do the Math!,” or Schedule a Demo, and we can show you our tiering technology in action.



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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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