Enterprises are witnessing data deluge these days and with the ongoing growth of mobile applications, social media and big data; the storage challenges will become greater in coming years.
Additionally, apart from data explosion, enterprises are continuing to struggle with database optimization, unable to achieve the performance level they need to meet the growing demands of users. In the meantime, technologies such as data deduplication have essentially become a strict no in Enterprise IT environments, because many IT managers feel that they tend to slow down performance and drain productivity.
On top of all these troubles, IT environments seen in enterprises are also facing continually tight budgets that can limit their ability to effectively manage the huge and growing data stores and procure the storage solutions they need to address the demand.
So, many enterprises are tackling these challenges with the help of emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable them to get optimum database performance while at the same time keeping costs under control and managing increasingly large data stores.
Hybrid data storage solutions are a new generation of flash driven enterprise storage arrays which are integrated with a combination of hard disk drives. These hybrid arrays are faster than legacy arrays, and significantly cost less that all-flash storage arrays.
Hybrid storage arrays integrate dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and flash memory intelligently into a data path to create an optimized hybrid storage appliance. DRAM is used as an extremely fast level 1 read cache, while flash solid-state drives are used as a second level of nonvolatile read and write cache.
Therefore, nowadays on seeing a huge demand for hybrid storage arrays, data storage vendors like StoneFly, Inc, which offers products to small and medium scale businesses are offering SAN storage solutions with hybrid features.
By using a Hybrid appliance, performance acceleration can be gained with SSDs without sacrificing the capacity or cost benefits of hard disk storage. Caching can be enabled for on-the-fly data along with data deduplication and compression can be deployed on primary storage. Unlike systems that risk data loss by relying entirely on flash for data storage, hybrid arrays protect data by storing it permanently on HDDs, while using faster flash and DRAM as high speed cache.
One can find some hybrid storage arrays as five times faster than all hard disk based arrays and much less costly than all-flash based arrays. With technologies such as compression available, usable capacity can be up by five times than available raw capacity.
The systems provide better data protection than standard arrays through features such as a no-single-point-of-failure architecture, built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, and on- or off-site failover capabilities.
Organizations that have deployed the latest hybrid storage solutions are seeing a variety of benefits, such as increased performance and efficiency.
In a report released in June 2015, Forrester Research laid out some of the dramatic changes under way in the storage and database landscape. The report claimed that organizations need to look for storage solutions that have the features and functionalities they require to support growing storage capacity as well as high performance in databases. They also came to a conclusion that traditional database solutions and architectures working till date cannot support data deluge faced by enterprises in coming years.
The reported included the fact that Relational databases might be fine for established OLTP and decision support applications. But new business requirements, dynamic Workloads, globalization, and the desire to keep costs down mean enterprises need to develop a new database storage strategy.
Forrester Research came to a conclusion that organizations must invest in storage technologies such as hybrid arrays in order to meet the challenges they face today. The stakes are high, because information is a critical competitive differentiator for many businesses. It’s imperative that they effectively store and manage their data resources while keeping performance levels high and costs low.