Dan's Take

Flash Storage Arrays Continue to Advance

With so many options, like the StorTrends 3600i, it pays to choose wisely.

Justin Bagby of AMI StorTrends came by to discuss the introduction of the StorTrends 3600i all-flash storage array. Because storage is such an important part of every IT solution, I always enjoy speaking with representatives of storage suppliers.

Here's what the company has to say about the 3600i:

The StorTrends 3600i features two Intel QuadCore processors with one processor per controller and 64GB of memory. The StorTrends 3600i family of all flash SAN arrays also includes the StorTrends 3610i, which offers four Intel QuadCore processors with two processors per controller and 192GB of memory. Both solutions are available with Write Tier Drive capacities of 200GB, 400GB, 800GB and 2TB, as well as solid-state drive Read Tier capacities of 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB.

Let's face it: rotating media is really slow when compared to the performance of today's processing, memory and internal interconnect technology. Furthermore, while the mechanical components -- the motor driving the storage platter and the read/write head actuator, for example -- have been improved over the years, but still are a point of failure.

The industry has been working to overcome both the performance and the reliability of storage devices for literally decades. The challenge is that while newer solid-state storage media offers performance very similar to a computer system's internal memory, the cost per gigabyte/terabyte has traditionally been quite high.

Increasing Integration
Typically, discussions I have with storage vendors, including StorTrends, NetApp, EMC, HP, IBM and HDS, include a focus how the supplier is both integrating storage virtualization technology into its products and finding ways to increase the performance of the underlying storage technology while reducing the overall cost per gigabyte/terabyte. The goals are always the same: improving storage performance and reliability while adding what the supplier hopes are new, very clever features.

Suppliers are also constantly looking for ways to increase the performance of the underlying storage hardware and reduce the overall cost per gigabyte/terabyte. The 3600i clearly is the result of efforts to address those business requirements.

As the cost of solid-state storage media declines, more and more suppliers are coming forward with all-flash storage subsystems and their own take on clever monitoring and storage virtualization technology. StorTrends is no exception, with its offering of state-of-the-art tools and storage technology.

Dan's Take: Check Your ROI
I'd suggest that CIOs take the time to explore the technology these suppliers are offering, to determine if the performance and reliability improvements will provide a reasonable return on investment.

I'd also recommend determining whether a supplier has a reasonable strategy for making sure the new technology and the established storage technology at the heart of their IT solutions can coexist well, as well as a strategy to migrate to newer technology as it comes along.

StorTrends has a good story today.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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