Storage Networks

To Prevent Data Gridlock, You Need a Smarter Highway

by Jim Rapoza on ‎03-11-2015 12:54 PM (56,507 Views)

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Have you ever noticed how, just when you need to be somewhere fast, a traffic jam suddenly appears? One minute you’re cruising along in the fast lane, and the next minute your smooth-flowing highway becomes a veritable parking lot. Forget about that appointment you were already running late for…you’re going to be really late or it’s not going to happen at all.

 

Guess what? Your company network can seem a lot like that highway. Just when you need your vital data and applications, the network can experience a crippling traffic jam that impacts your productivity and causes significant costs in lost business.

 

If you think of the typical corporate IP network as a highway, you’ll see many different types of traffic sharing lanes and bandwidth. Usually these systems work pretty well, with social media traffic able to share the highway with enterprise applications—and there’s even room for critical high-priority data traffic when necessary.

 

Unfortunately, when traffic demands exceed capacity, all of these different types of traffic start getting in each other’s way. Think about employees checking out endless YouTube videos, large Big Data analysis processes, or even video conferences that can quickly eat up lots of network bandwidth. Throw in storage infrastructures that might be dealing with large data syncs and restorations, and suddenly your network is headed for a massive pileup.

 

And this pileup can be very costly to your business. In fact, Aberdeen research has shown that an hour of downtime can cost a large company over $600,000. So how can you avoid this type of network gridlock?

 

Imagine if you had a lane dedicated just for critical data traffic. Even if your network was backed up, there would still be a way for that data traffic to get through. This could even reduce overall traffic on the main highway, especially if the dedicated lane didn’t come at the expense of an existing lane.

 

While most actual highways don’t have the extra space for a dedicated lane, you can easily add this to your corporate network with a simple but strategic move. Just think about storage. In recent years many businesses have installed mission-critical applications on IP-based storage networks due to the growth in cloud architectures and other IP-centric applications. But with this move, many have found that there’s a lot of new stress on the network—and traffic jams are happening.

 

You can avoid this problem by leveraging one simple best practice for IP-based storage networking: Build a dedicated IP network for storage. With this move, you still gain many of the benefits of IP-based storage networking, but you do so while giving storage traffic its very own dedicated lane to ensure ample bandwidth.

 

This strategy offers numerous advantages, including:

  • Removing the impact of other enterprise traffic on storage (and vice versa)
  • Being able to provision network resources precisely to your storage needs
  • Boosting storage performance
  • Streamlining data recovery in the case of a disaster
  • Saving valuable time and expense while improving user satisfaction

 

Beyond these benefits, you will also be able to more effectively leverage the entire spectrum of storage technologies, from IP-SAN to SSD-based storage arrays.

 

With a dedicated IP storage network, you can essentially build the best highway to meet your specific data traffic needs. And that’s a great way to keep the business running and not stuck in a nasty traffic jam.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: To learn why dedicated IP storage networks are a best practice, read the Enterprise Strategy Group’s paper “The Evolution of IP Storage and Its Impact on the Network”

 

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