In this three-part series, WWT Flash Storage Practice Manager Scott Webb interviews Dell EMC Director of Product Marketing Yoav Eilat on modernizing the data center and the impact flash storage can have on an organization’s tier one applications.
PART I: New Uses for Flash Storage
Storage has been a hot topic for the past couple of years and the industry has seen a growth in storage innovation. One of the big revolutions Dell EMC and WWT have seen is customers moving to flash-based storage and modernizing their data centers. Among performance, there is a laundry list of benefits that come with moving to a flash storage solution: scalability, cost, integration ability with databases and applications, ease of administration and so on.
As flash storage continues to gain ground, new manufacturers will continue to pop up in the vendor landscape, making decisions about flash investments that much harder for customers.
Dell EMC XtremIO
One option when considering flash storage is Dell EMC’s XtremeIO.
“This product has the benefit of scaling out to meet an organization’s storage needs without hindering performance, so the two grow in tandem,” says Eilat. “It’s also really fast, consistent and predictable when it comes to performance, which is really important when discussing consolidation of applications.”
Another key benefit to consider when choosing a flash vendor is ease of administration.
“With XtremeIO, customers can basically throw the old rules out the window and just allocate their dedicated space for deployment,” says Eilat, adding that this isn’t always the case with all vendors. “Customers definitely need to look into what it takes to buy, administer and deploy new flash systems.”
In the past, there was early adoption of flash for VDI because of inline deduplication. Now that customers are getting more comfortable with VDI, there has been a shift in the market where more customers are moving toward running business applications on flash. Flash storage also is bringing simplicity to database administrators (DBAs) through cost effective, self-service requests.
“While organization’s aren’t quite there yet, and for most this is still a manual process, we are seeing a move toward DBA self-service and sometimes user self-service,” says Eilat.
This shift not only opens up more storage space and creates a more cost-effective process, but organizations also are benefitting from consolidation.
“According to a recent survey we conducted, three out of four companies have tried to consolidate production and non-production users on the same storage platform,” says Eilat. “While this is a huge benefit, customers need to have a large amount of trust in their storage vendor to ensure the non-production databases will not bring down the critical production programs.”
Part II: ICDM and Benefits for DBAs
Continuing the conversation in part two, Eilat first touches on how copy data management is integrated into XtremeIO.
Copy data management can help an organization reduce their storage consumption by removing duplicated production data. Dell EMC has integrated copy data management (ICDM) into their storage arrays to help with this exact task. ICDM creates copies entirely in memory to quicken the operations for DBAs, storage administer or end user and requires no additional licensing for an organization.
“ICDM has become a true differentiator for Dell EMC in the storage space and helps quicken time to market for organizations,” says Eilat.
When migrating to flash storage, a typical migration is pretty easy because there’s a lot of third party tools to help with this process, according to Eilat. He points out that after the migration, storage administrators will say yes to DBAs all the time.
“There becomes less concerns about cost, availability and consolidation when all the database users can use the same storage array at the same time — it makes a big difference,” says Eilat.
Part III: XtremIO Data Services
In part three of the interview, Eilat discusses the data services XtremIO brings to the table. These include the ability to run data services inline, writing data without deduplication, and how the elimination of garbage collection ensures consistent and predictable performance of a database.
Data centers have come a long way from spinning disks, and flash storage is becoming the default answer for modernizing the data center. With the cost leveling out and opportunities to integrate cloud services, now is the time to implement the best storage architecture possible and pull user resources together.
Visit Dell EMC's website to learn more about Dell EMC’s XtremIO. Or visit our ATC Lab Services page to learn more about our technology testing capabilities.