Scale-Out Storage Offers More Flexible Expansion

Data volumes continue to expand exponentially with no sign of slowing down. If anything, data growth is accelerating as organizations take advantage of machine-generated data and the Internet of Things (IoT).

All of the old rules of thumb for estimating storage capacity have been blown out of the water. According to a survey conducted by Tintri in October 2017, 24 percent of IT leaders make capacity planning decisions on the basis of a “best guess” or no planning at all. Forty-two percent rely on previous experience, but only 12 percent run a simulation project to help accurately guide decisions, and only 22 percent rely on input from technology vendors or partners.

Because of capacity planning challenges, 43 percent of survey respondents said they have underestimated their storage needs, while 27 percent said they overestimated. In addition, 77 percent of respondents reported that up to one-fifth of their storage capacity is unused, acting as a buffer to maintain performance. Only 10 percent said they operate with no more than 5 percent unused storage capacity.

Compounding the problem is the inflexible nature of the traditional storage environment. With legacy storage subsystems, organizations generally must add multi-drive RAID groups or drive shelves, often purchasing more storage than is needed. This adds capital expense, consumes rack space and increases cabling complexity. And once capacity is added, expert administrators still must create LUNs and/or volumes to contain virtual machines (VMs).

A scale-out storage architecture, in contrast, is made up of clustered nodes that have their own processing power, I/O and storage capacity. The system can be expanded by adding devices to nodes and by adding nodes to the cluster, with the additional capacity utilized across arrays.

Tintri is bringing the scale-out concept to all-flash arrays with its FlexDrive expansion feature. The Tintri approach to expansion is distinguished by its granularity, allowing customers to purchase capacity in exact relation to need. Because Tintri eliminates traditional storage constructs such as RAID groups and shelves, customers can increase the capacity of Tintri all-flash arrays by adding as little as one drive at a time.

Getting it to work is a simple, three-step process that is non-disruptive and takes just a few minutes:

  1. Insert the drive into any available disk slot.
  2. Click the “expand” button in the Tintri interface.
  3. Gain immediate access to new capacity without further configuration.

Tintri FlexDrive complements Tintri’s VM Scale-out technology, which automatically optimizes the capacity and performance of virtualized storage. When customers add a Tintri system to their storage environment, it is treated as a single, federated pool, simplifying capacity planning, management and resource allocation.

Tintri Analytics makes it simple to anticipate capacity needs by predicting resource requirements up to 18 months into the future. And now Tintri has incorporated an expansion estimator into its standard user interface that enables users to model the impact of adding drives. The estimator uses historical system workload profiles to guide customers to the number of additional drives required to meet target capacity.

Rampant data growth is a given. What’s changing is how organizations plan for and respond to that growth. Let Technologent show you how Tintri’s scale-out all-flash technology and analytical tools can help you match storage capacity to business and IT requirements.

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