Tips to keep in storage

14 June 2019

Matthew Beale, modern data centre architect, Ultima Business Solutions

Matthew Beale, modern data centre architect, Ultima Business Solutions

You need data storage that’s fast, secure and easy to access. Matthew Beale, of Ultima Business Solutions, has tips to aid your choice. And we look at some of the latest products

Refreshing a storage platform is normally a sizeable undertaking for most businesses and often one that is a pretty thankless task.

However, that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Given the rapidly changing nature of the market place it makes sense to get a view on what is on the market.

So, what should you be looking for when making such an important purchase?

When we evaluate product suitability we go through a series of Do’s and Don’ts for our customers:

For starters let’s look at the Don’ts (some may surprise you):

Don’t get drawn in by performance figures.

For 99 per cent of the customers I deal with, every array in the market is more than capable in terms of performance.

Don’t be limited by the protocol you are running now.

A lot of legacy deployments are still fibre channel based but this is a dying art across a large part of the industry with file or iSCSI access taking over.

Don’t think one platform can do everything.

For larger customers using the right platform for the right use case can save a small fortune.

Now let’s see what you should be looking at:

Do look at manageability.

This is the most important aspect to consider.

If the platform is easy to manage and well-integrated then you are looking at the right one.

Do look at cloud integration.

Even if your business is not going to the cloud yet, three to five years is a long time and over that time the question will be asked.

Do look at the detail of data reduction guarantees.

Not all guarantees are made equal.

Things like thin provisioning and snapshots are not data reduction so make sure you read the small print!

Do make sure that the platform has REST APIs.

REST is the de facto standard for APIs now within data centres and even if you are not using them today someone will want to use them in the future.

Do make sure you look at backup integration for primary storage.

No one wants slow backups and even worse no one wants no backups at all.

If the primary and backup system plug together nicely you are onto a winner.

Those eight points are my killer criteria for storage platform selection.

But each business will have its priorities, and each of the above criteria, as well as additional ones, will have their weighting.

By Matthew Beale, modern data centre architect, Ultima Business Solutions