Original posted at https://www.freeitdata.com/.
Buzzwords suck. That’s right, I said it. Hybrid, All-flash, Converged, Hyper-converged, Data-aware, VM-aware, Software-defined, Object Storage, BigData, Scale-out – we get it, but why is it all so confusing? Or better yet, why is it all so similar?
In Spite of the Buzz - A Win for the Customer
Despite the overuse of buzzwords and re-classifications, the storage industry has actually seen dramatic improvements over the last 3-4 years. All of these changes are great for the customer. More efficient technologies & more competition have lead to lower operating cost, better pricing, and better solutions. But what good is saving all that time and money implementing and using these products, if it takes just as long to weed through all the jargon to find the right one?
There are plenty of options and a ton of overlap, but each of these unique solutions has a place in today’s modern data centers. Let’s take a moment and weed through the buzzwords to get a better understanding of where each one fits best.
Below we have dissected a few of the industries leaders to look at IOPS, Capacity, cost and how they compare. This is a great snapshot, but doesn’t by any means tell the entire story.
Software Makes All the Difference
It’s all in the software. Obviously, reliant to some extent upon the hardware, the software really determines how the important stuff is handled...the data. De-dupe, compression, hot data, cold data, these features all play a big role in the IOPS and capacity capabilities of each solution. Not to mention the reporting and administration capabilities provided by these unique and elegant software platforms. Many of the hardware components inside each of these “boxes” are virtually the same. They are manufactured by the same companies, assembled in the same manner, with same CPUs, the same RAM. The software layered on top of this hardware really defines its capabilities.
In a perfect world, we just look at the speeds and feeds, features and functionalities and find the best technology to fix the problem, but there are many other business considerations when evaluating data center technologies. Installation, integration, usability, performance, the list goes on and on, but budget is often the biggest one.
Uh oh. More buzzwords - TCO, cost per GB, cost per IOP. All just ways to assess whether those features are worth the money. We couldn't just look at cost as a single determinant on picking the right solution, but looking at it relative to the performance and capacity is one easy way to determine “value.” Here is a look at the same data above by cost per GB.
How about looking at it by cost per GB, per IOP.
One size doesn’t fit all. At least not when you factor in more than just size. The process of evaluating solutions can become long, complex, and costly.
Scale-out, IOPS, TCO, cost per GB…all of these things together with budget, timing, integration & ease of use factor into finding the right fit. By themselves they’re just features, much like buzzwords.