Solving Mainstream Storage Challenges

The storage problems that HPC and cloud data centers face are headline-grabbing, but solving mainstream storage challenges that more common organizations face is equally (if not more) important.  Mainstream data centers struggle with limited IT staff, thin IT budgets, and new demands for high performance and increased capacity. They also must better protect the organization’s data from threats like ransomware.

Solving Mainstream Storage Challenges

Organizations need a new approach. An approach that uses all available storage media, while extracting maximum performance from that media to consolidate disparate workloads and use cases into a single storage platform. This must also be done while meeting performance expectations and increasing data resiliency.

Solving Mainstream Storage Challenges with an Intelligent Hybrid Storage Array

Seagate and StorONE are releasing a new software/hardware bundle based on the Seagate Exos AP 5U84. The combination creates a portfolio of intelligent hybrid-storage systems designed explicitly for mainstream data centers and serves as the foundation for a software-defined storage consolidation strategy.

The Seagate Exos AP 5U84 powered by StorONE is an affordable, high-capacity 5U unit providing high-density savings on space, power, and cooling costs. It is equipped with dual storage controllers, which provide integrated high availability (HA). It uses StorONE’s advanced hybrid-storage technology to offer an enormous, high-performance 100TB+ flash tier producing 200K+ IOPS and a large hard disk (HDD) tier with up to 1.2 PB of capacity. By leveraging StorONE’s S1:Enterprise Storage Platform, it provides enterprise-class features and data protection capabilities.

Solving Mainstream Storage Challenges with Storage Software Innovation

The StorONE S1:Enterprise Platform high-performance IO engine can leverage the full raw performance and capacity of all the different types of storage media present in your data center while fully protecting all data. Its new IO Orchestration algorithm coordinates a seamless, parallel IO flow through the software, delivering maximum performance. IO Orchestration, unique only to StorONE, ensures that features do not impact performance. StorONE’s platform approach’s key component is its ability to address concerns over hybrid technology, enabling it to solve mainstream storage challenges with the intelligent integration of flash SSDs and HDDs. 

RAID Rebuild Performance Concerns

When adopting a flash/HDD hybrid solution, the first concern is the time it takes for hard disk-based volumes to return to a protected state; a process typically measured in days. Should another drive fail during the rebuild process, data is lost, and IT needs to recover from a backup. These concerns mean using high redundancy levels, which significantly increased storage costs or moving prematurely to an All-Flash Array.

StorONE’s new vRAID feature is an entirely new form of media failure protection. StorONE’s vRAID feature provides full data protection and produces record-shattering volume rebuild times. In one recent public test on a 14TB HDD volume that was over 50% full, vRAID rebuilt the failed HDD volume in less than two hours. In a similar rebuild test on a data volume using 15TB flash drives, vRAID rebuilt the fallen volume in less than 5 minutes. Again, other solutions can take days to rebuild volumes built with high-density HDDs. With the density advancement in flash drives (15TB and 30TB SSDs), there are numerous reports of large volumes now taking hours or even days to rebuild.

Intelligent Automatic Capacity Management

As data ages, it is accessed less frequently. It makes no sense to let idle data consume valuable flash capacity as it ages. Up to now, addressing this issue meant IT had to manually find and move the aging data to less expensive tiers of HDD storage or, more likely, just putting up with the expense, which all-flash vendors love. StorONE automatically and transparently manages data movement between the tiers so that operational data receive maximum performance and static data is stored at the lowest possible cost.

Mixed-Use Case Concerns

Use cases, like large databases (Oracle, MS-SQL, MySQL, etc.), as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) projects, require the maximum performance provided by all-flash arrays. However, the data center has other workloads like NAS, Files, VMware, etc., which don’t need all-flash performance. At least not all the time. However, organizations are reluctant to use a hybrid-storage system because of inconsistent performance.

Solving Mainstream Storage Challenges

These performance concerns are valid since most legacy hybrid arrays are configured with a minuscule flash tier (8TB or less) and a massive HDD tier (hundreds if not PBs of HDD). They also use the obsolete storage system software that cannot fully leverage all the capabilities of the new, modern storage and networking technology.

An ideal and cost-effective solution to this situation is a flexible, intelligent hybrid-array product that provides a large flash tier (100TB or more) with a large HDD tier. The system will also let you configure your workloads so that those requiring the high performance of all-flash will use only the flash volumes in the system. The other “regular” workloads also access the flash array, but they automatically distribute data between the flash tier and the HDD tier, automatically based on access patterns. Other less demanding workloads such as archive, backup, video surveillance, etc., could be configured to primarily use the HDD tier primarily.

Seagate Exos AP 5U84 Configurations, Capabilities, and Costs

The Seagate Exos AP5U84, powered by the StorONE S1 Enterprise Platform, provides cost-effective solutions that should meet your storage, capacity, and performance needs. They can handle all your workloads and are also Cloud Ready for purposes such as DR to Cloud, Archive to Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud.

A flexible and economical configuration providing excellent capacity is the AP-575. It includes 575TB of capacity, 30TB of which is flash. It is available on TRUprice for only $99,101! It provides an excellent balance of SSD and HDD capacity to meet all your performance and capacity requirements. It is also expandable by simply inserting more drives. Need more performance? Then add more flash. Need more capacity? Then add more HDDs. It is expandable to over 1.2PB!

Are you looking for a smaller solution for branch offices or small data centers? The Seagate Exos AP 2U12 provides over 100TBs of capacity for only $35,992!

Each of the Seagate Exos AP 5U84 Powered By StorONE can further expand by adding additional storage modules. The StorONE software will automatically recognize the new drives and begin using them immediately.

Our new lineup of hybrid arrays enables organizations to consolidate their storage while cutting costs and still meet capacity and performance demands. To learn more, watch our on-demand webinar with Seagate as we discuss the role of HDDs in primary storage:

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George Crump

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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