IT infrastructure has come a long way. The industry is rapidly growing and the multitude of solutions out there is getting increasingly complex. IT has started serving increasingly varied business and technology needs within all organisations on the planet.
In both hyper-converged and traditional solutions, data storage options have seen many interesting changes. From hard drive technology we are increasingly moving to much faster solid state drives. Buyers now have more options than ever before when they choose a technology mix for their IT infrastructure. While HDDs are well-known and reliable, SSDs are becoming more popular and affordable. There is also a third option when it comes to the data storage side of an IT infrastructure: hybrid storage.
This article describes what the hybrid storage concept involves and why we think it is a very good fit for businesses of any size and in any industry.
What is hybrid storage?
Hybrid storage options use a combination of HDDs and SSDs, which lowers the total costs of the solution, while also offering the speed and efficiency of all-flash. Hybrid is a very good choice as it offers both the “traditional” reliability and low cost of HDDs and the increased performance of SSDs in a single solution.
Naturally, this mix of low-cost/ reliability and increased performance only works if the software management fabric is smart enough to divide and allocate the capacity resources intelligently; Dumping a bunch of SSDs and HDDs in any old array will not work. This is the reason why a few all-flash vendors have found a particularly strong marketing message against hybrid arrays. In fact, if the SSD/HDD mix is leveraged properly, any organisation can use the benefits of both at a much lower cost.
4 benefits of hybrid storage:
- Lower costs
As previously mentioned, hybrid storage is considerably more affordable than an all-flash alternative, while offering more performance than traditional disks. This usually offers a very good cost-performance ratio.
Before purchasing an all-flash, you should first ask yourself if you really need it. Otherwise you risk overprovisioning. How many IOPS do you actually need? Yes, all-flash can handle a large number of IOPS, but is this vital for your business? Do you perhaps also handle a lot “cold” data, that can be stored comfortably on traditional HDDs? If you are looking at a mix of a few applications which require fast SSDs and a lot of unfrequently used, older data, a hybrid solution is the best choice.
- Increased performance
Regardless of the type of IT infrastructure, traditional or hyper-converged, storage capacity performance can be greatly improved by adding a bit of flash to the combination. At Syneto, the hybrid capacity options in our hyper-converged products offer anywhere from 5 to 20 times the performance* of traditional HDD-based storage.
Software-defined infrastructure is the key to the intelligent usage of multiple storage media. It allows the OS to manage a mix of storage devices (DRAM,SSDs,HDDs, etc) in a unified pool of data.
- Increased efficiency
Slow data access for users and applications can cause major issues for a business. Troubleshooting and solving performance issues involves a lot of time and effort.
Hybrid storage solutions, managed by a software layer, are more efficient when managing “hot” data. The software optimizes the placement of “hot” and “cold” data. Less frequently and not recently used data will be stored on HDDs, while frequently and recently used data will be handled by the faster flash layer.
- Simplified management
When choosing a software-defined infrastructure, you immediately get the benefit of simplified management. The time involved in setting up and managing the storage capacity of your environment is greatly reduced. The infrastructure is easy to set up and manage, allowing your IT team to focus on other parts of the business.
Syneto products and hybrid storage
At Syneto we have embraced the use of hybrid storage capacity options in our hyper-converged infrastructure products.
Our OS has been designed to support a combination of storage devices in the same data pool, while allowing efficient data access to both applications and users.
Interested to find out more about how we use hybrid storage options? Get in touch for more information or ask for a demo!