There’s a lot of talk these days around storage capacity, the growing need for storage due to tremendous data growth, and the requirement to access it quickly. To put it in perspective, think about your daily life outside of work; text messages,  emails, photos from your phone or tablet, video on demand, online shopping, social media, etc. Think about everything you do that generates data in just one day that’s not even work related. Add to that all of your work-related activities. Now, think about all the people and businesses in this world that are connected. All this data must be stored somewhere for you to quickly access it. Get the picture? It stands to reason then that as with data, storage needs are growing by leaps and bounds.

Now, think about how quickly you, as a consumer, want to have access to this data. Do you like to wait?  Neither do your customers or employees. Looking behind the scenes, the performance of many of today’s server-based applications is limited by the relatively slow input and output (I/O) of data to disk storage. A common way to mitigate this limitation and improve performance is to replicate active data from disks to higher-speed media in a cache in servers and storage-area networks (SANs).

So what makes sense when you look at your company’s storage infrastructure? Is it all hard-disk drives (HDDs), all solid-state drives (SSDs), or are you using a mixture of the two, which is called a hybrid array? If you’re not using a hybrid-storage approach, let me give you some information to consider.  

First, what exactly does hybrid array mean? The online definition says a hybrid array is a form of hierarchical storage management that combines HDDs with SSDs for I/O speed improvements.  

Sounds simple, right? It really is. The Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200 SAN products are hybrid arrays that combine HDDs with SSDs for I/O speed improvements. Data is moved up and down the array (between SSDs and HDDs) automatically and as close to real-time as possible. The most frequently accessed data (hot data) is moved to the higher-performing drives while the lesser-accessed data (cold data) is moved to the higher-capacity drives, every five seconds, with no performance degradation, due to our unique design. We call this Intelligent Real Time Tiering. This is huge because now there is no need to designate what applications or volumes will need SSDs or HDDs; the real-time tiering software on the S2200 and S3200 will determine it for you, saving you time and money! In fact, a hybrid array SAN could save you up to 83 percent over an all-flash array system (read more from the white paper written on this). 

There are several factors you should consider when looking at your storage infrastructure and what makes the most sense for your business needs.

  • What are your storage capacity needs, both now and in the future?
  • What are your performance requirements?
  • What is your interface type?
  • What is your budget?

All of these are important factors to consider. To make it simple for you to understand these factors, we have a white paper written on this very topic called A Balanced Approach to Optimizing Storage Performance in the Data Center. This is an excellent resource to better understand the pros and cons to an all-HDD environment, an all-SSD environment and the hybrid-array approach. 

At Lenovo, we understand that the high rate of data growth, flat or shrinking IT budgets and fewer IT resources with limited storage expertise can make it difficult for a business of any size to respond to increased expectations.  We want to assist you with these and other business challenges with high-performing storage arrays that will simplify management and provide advanced functionality — all at a very affordable price. We are here to help. Please contact your Lenovo Business Partner or Lenovo seller to learn even more.