Storage Networks

Sharing Isn’t Always a Good Thing

by Spencer Lail on ‎08-11-2015 05:00 AM (4,249 Views)

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For many of us, preschool and kindergarten were all about learning how to share. But in the IT world, sharing isn’t always a good thing. You need to carefully identify when and where it makes sense to share if you want to operate as efficiently as possible.

 

Consider that just a few years ago IP storage was considered a departmental or “non-critical” storage solution—primarily for workloads that weren’t considered core elements to business success. The general lack of Tier 1 tools, performance, reliability, and scalability kept IP storage from being a truly “production-ready” solution for most organizations.

 

Fast forward to today, however, and many organizations are re-evaluating the landscape for IP storage. In fact, there has been a massive shift toward using it as the storage protocol for workloads ranging from virtualization, Big Data, OLTP, and data warehouses all the way down to backup targets.

 

Likewise, the growing ecosystem of vendors that support IP storage protocols has made significant changes to the architecture of the arrays that support these protocols. With this retooling, you can now find arrays built for massive scalability, performance, multiprotocol support, business continuance, and software-defined storage—taking IP storage into the “business-critical” level.

 

However, one thing that’s still missing at the architectural level is how to service the transmission of these critical workloads. For instance:

  • We’re still sharing network infrastructure, even while our networks are facing ever-increasing demands on all fronts.
  • We aren’t thinking enough about how today’s growing workloads are impacted by the shared nature of existing networks.

 

This is where sharing can create a lot of unnecessary complexity at minimum, or fundamentally impact your overall business in the worst case scenario. Fortunately there’s a ready-made solution: dedicated IP storage networks that provide the built-in performance, resiliency, and scalability to meet modern demands of the agile business.

 

By decoupling critical IP storage infrastructure from the volatile nature of the shared network, you can optimize resources to handle your most critical data traffic and workloads. In turn, you can push your technology investments to their peak levels since they won’t be affected by traffic flows within the shared network infrastructure.

 

Other key advantages of dedicated IP storage networks include:

  • Removing the IP storage infrastructure from change windows that might cause degradation or outages.
  • Easily expanding or contracting the network according to business need since the infrastructure will be self-contained.
  • Increasing performance in a much simpler way while removing the bottlenecks that are inherent in shared networks.

 

Sharing is good, sometimes. But when your business depends on critical storage traffic, dedicated is the best way to be successful. To see how one company is benefitting from a dedicated IP storage network, read this Afrihost case study.