Special report: Bringing simplicity into data centres

Assaad El Saadi, regional director–Middle East, Pure Storage explains how investing in all-flash can transform the modern data centre

Pure Storage, Data centre, Storage, Special Report

Traditionally, storage is one of the most complex parts in the data centre; therefore, bringing simplicity to storage management can offer several important outcomes for your company.

Reducing procurement complexity

In terms of cost, infrastructure simplicity has several outcomes. First, simplicity reduces the amount of time you spend procuring IT infrastructure. 

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Were you to compare invoices for storage purchases from a modern all-flash vendor and a traditional storage vendor (even legacy vendors with all-flash options), the modern vendor invoice will likely show just two to three line items for purchase.

On the other hand, legacy vendors may list pages upon pages of options, products, and services. So, right from inception, a modern all-flash storage system can save you money in terms of data centre procurement complexity and time.

Repurposing IT resources

Everyone wants to do more with less, or, at least, with the same. Whenever you can reduce the cost associated with managing a resource, such as storage, the more you can pay attention to other areas of the data centre and your business.

Any reduction in storage related costs, including the time needed to manage storage, can help your team manage valuable IT resources more efficiently. Actual time and resource savings will vary based on your organisation’s unique requirements.

Reducing the data centre maintenance burden

Beyond simply being able to redirect IT staff efforts, the simpler the data centre, the more quickly you can deploy new workloads. The reason is simple: if you have less complexity in the data centre, it’s less likely that something will go wrong as you try to deploy new workloads. In other words, simplicity in the data centre reduces the overall data centre maintenance burden and can directly benefit the business by making it easier and faster to deploy new business workloads.

Simplicity in the data centre reduces the overall data centre maintenance burden and can directly benefit the business by making it easier and faster to deploy new business workloads, says Assaad El Saadi.

Further, a maintenance burden that you should seek to avoid is one that’s really common: unexpected maintenance costs. When you first buy an array based on legacy technology, you believe that the maintenance costs are reasonable.

Over time, this cost will begin to rise. Legacy vendors increase the cost of maintenance as the likelihood for breakdown increases. Eventually, you have to decide whether to completely replace your storage because maintenance costs get too high. In other words, you have to rebuy your storage every few years and then pay an increasing amount on an annual basis to support and maintain it.

To combat this phenomenon, Pure Storage has a program known as Evergreen Storage. This is designed to extend the life of the storage deployment to more than ten years by making the storage easily and non-disruptively upgradeable at regular intervals for capacity, density, performance and features, without any downtime, or major product replacement.

Reducing the data centre footprint

With all-flash, you don’t need to buy extra hardware just to get the performance you need. As you reduce the number of devices you have, you also reduce the number of cables that you need to run to tether everything together, further simplifying the data centre. Moreover, fewer cables translate to less air movement restriction, which can also reduce cooling costs.

All-flash also increases the density of storage arrays, enabling you to reduce entire racks of equipment to handfuls of rack units. The end result is fewer rack units dedicated to storage. That directly reduces physical data centre costs.

Convergence

Servers and networking are equally important components of data centres. With an all-flash storage system that forms part of a validated converged infrastructure with best of breed infrastructure components, you can take the worry out of convergence and bring extreme simplicity and performance to the entire data centre stack.

A high-performance infrastructure that combines these powerful building blocks reduces latency and delivers powerful metrics around workload performance. Such a modular, modern, scalable solution includes an all-flash array as a storage component, virtualisation software, and a unified computing system (UCS) server. The latter combines computing, network and storage under an umbrella of central management.

Creating business value is what drives the modern enterprise. Companies are always looking for ways they can save money in IT overhead so it can be invested in revenue-generating programs.

IT and the data centre — specifically storage — have traditionally resulted in a lot of money flowing out and into the hands of storage vendors and expensive storage staff. However, the era of modern storage systems is upon us and with all-flash storage, there lies an opportunity to transform the entire data centre and businesses as a whole.

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