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Designing Effective Storage Strategies to Meet Business Needs
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Designing Effective Storage Strategies to Meet Business Needs


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In this presentation we present EAGLE's ideas on designing a modern tiered storage infrastructure. We will cover the basic strategies and requirements of tiers 1/2/3, object-based, cloud, and edge …

In this presentation we present EAGLE's ideas on designing a modern tiered storage infrastructure. We will cover the basic strategies and requirements of tiers 1/2/3, object-based, cloud, and edge storage, along with the importance of categorizing data sets so that you can ultimately build a solid blueprint and business case. Other topics include transitioning to an effective tiered storage model, controlling storage growth, and emerging ideas and technologies for data storage.

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  • Encourage questions throughout.Mention the presentation is wordy and offer up a copy; email address on last slide.
  • Even if organizations don’t know how to analyze the data yet, they are collecting it because stored data is like money in the bank.Tell your story about growth issues; ask if other folks are having this issue.
  • “Buckets of Storage” is a common analogy that EAGLE uses to describe storage and backup needs. The takeaway is that growing storage and complexity requires the use of multiple storage tiers which meet the business needs of the enterprise (in terms of data availability, cost, connectivity, etc).
  • Applications live here; high performance and reliability/availability is a requirement. This stuff is expensive!
  • In relation to the storage pyramid, most data (that is immediately accessible) lives here.Disk is still king in this space (due to availability and capacity needs).Maintenance windows are “allowed” (typically).
  • 5 years ago, we all thought tape has died, but it has really just transferred to tier 3 spaces (where we see the most growth)Historically fulfilled by tape; cloud and archive-grade disk is increasingly considered a good fit in this space.
  • Concerns about cloud storage include privacy, security, encryption,authentication, and availability. What good is a backup if it takes a week to restore (“resume generating event”).If you take advantage of SaaS in the cloud, cloud storage may work very well for you. You can even replicate to another zone and bring up your application in that zone if necessary.“You already have a cloud.” – Mention your story about “private cloud”.Recap: “cloud may be a good fit and should be examined on a case by case basis”
  • As opposed to fixed block sizes, object-based storage works at a higher level. The data is categorized into objects that are stored efficiently and contain metadata. This metadata makes object-based storage an excellent fit for policy-based storage.It's important to keep in mind that each vendor’s technology is proprietary. These shortcomings make object-based storage less useful for primary storage.
  • Five years ago many large organizations thought they had a handle on desktops and laptops (through the use of policies that kept files on centralized file servers), but the increased use of BYOD has brought this issue back into the forefront.Edge data is often not viewed properly in the mobile workforce era (legal and security risks abound).Ask about any questions concerning the tiers we have discussed.
  • Administrators and decision-makersneed to consider multiple factors in order to understand where data should live. The goal is to make intelligent decisions about where your data should live. You are on the path to building a roadmap to a tiered storage model.
  • You are trying to analyze your data and figure out how many “buckets” or tiers make sense for your organization.
  • You must have your business continuity metrics laid out. If not, they stand to muck up your storage tiers.Setting the objectives should come from looking at the business impact of applications being unavailable, and the business impact of loss of data.Example: data with high low RTO and low performance characteristics may still need to be on high-end storage.
  • Typically folks size for tier 1 apps (in terms of performance) and the overall capacity of your storage. This was an easy decision 5 years ago because you could fit everything on one tier (datasets were so small).While you are building your blueprint you need to consider that availability and performance requirements cost money.
  • Many folks don’t see archive data in the proper light. Archive data may lose the requirements for performance and version & change tracking, but it still has value.Oil industry analogy.
  • Now that you have an understanding of what storage options are on the table, and what your own data looks like, you can start to layout a blueprint of where you want to be.This process will create a blueprint that is different for everyone.
  • Ask for questions.
  • Non-IT folks need to be taught about responsibility concerning storage use. Not part of their daily responsibilities to be conscious of IT factors. Use this reality to sell quotas to management.Example: “running water at the hotel”.Ask if other folks have struggled with slowing storage growth.
  • Active Archive – cheapest place possible while maintaining business SLA’s
  • Encourage communication and offer our solutions and services.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Designing Effective Storage Strategies to Meet Business Needs Brian Anderson Storage Engineer – EAGLE Software
    • 2. The Problem • Storage use continues to grow. – IDC (International Data Group) estimates the average amount of storage that organizations acquire over the next 5 years will grow by an average of 35 to 40 percent year over year. – During that same time organizational storage spending is expected to increase 4.1%. • One SAN is increasingly becoming a poor strategy. – This “peak needs” strategy wastes a lot of money. • Organizations need to lower the cost of growth. – Using a tiered strategy, right sizing more than just capacity, and maximizing efficiencies is the answer.
    • 3. Overview • Basic strategies and requirements of different storage tiers – Tier 1/2/3, Object-based, Cloud, Edge • Categorizing data sets • Building a blueprint & business case • Transitioning to an effective tiered storage model • Controlling storage growth • Emerging ideas & technologies for data storage
    • 4. Buckets of Storage Understanding What is Available Today
    • 5. Tier 1 Storage Mission-Critical Applications & Data • Reliability & Availability (HA) • Performance Characteristics • Capabilities & Tools • Snapshots • Replication • Virtualization • Point-N-Click GUI • Auto-Tiering (SSD, 15K, 10K, SATA) • Flash-Optimized
    • 6. • Reliability/Availability • Capacity – Price per TB – Power Efficiencies – Storage Density • Data Integrity – Dual Parity – Checksums • Deduplication Tier 2 Storage Media & Unstructured Files, Short-Term Archives/Backups
    • 7. • Lower Accessibility • Low RTO • Tape – Growth in this segment – Cost effective • Archive-Grade Disk – Large capacity SATA – Low power (spin-down) • Cloud (May Be A Good Fit) Tier 3 Storage Long-Term Archive/Backup, Legal Compliance, Data Analytics
    • 8. • Pros – Elastic/Scale capabilities – No need to manage the infrastructure (IaaS) • Cons – Upload and download performance – Cost Overruns • Bandwidth, listing and downloading – Cost Effectiveness • May scale to a point where it is cheaper to own the infrastructure) – Poor Accessibility and RTO • DR is not a good fit unless your application layer lives in the cloud too Cloud Storage Leveraging Public Cloud Storage for a Hybrid Implementation
    • 9. Object-Based Storage • Data Integrity – Data verification – Self healing • Metadata – Policy-based decisions – Retention and deletion policies – Governance, discovery, business intelligence • Compliance Certified – Enforced retention/expiration policies – Digital fingerprinting • Scalability – Modular hardware approach, scale-out • Cons – Poor IOPs & high latency – Lacks standardization
    • 10. Edge Storage • Laptop, Desktops, Mobile Devices • Remote/Home Offices • BYOD – Mucks things up! • Issues Abound: – Backup and recovery – DR – Discovery – Legal – Security
    • 11. Understanding Your Data
    • 12. Categorizing Your Data • Characteristics to consider: – Performance (IOPs, access time, throughput, etc.) – Active vs. Stale (last accessedmodified – TreeSize Free/Pro) – Change rate – Growth & Capacity – Data types – Retention – Compliance (HIPPA, PCI, etc.)
    • 13. Categorizing Data (cont.) • Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) – Recovery Time Objective (RTO) - how fast must the data be brought back online? – Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – how much data are you willing to lose? – Other business continuity metrics typically in a SLA • backup process, regulatory security requirements, point of contact for escalation, services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees, and warranties • etc.
    • 14. Don’t Overspend! Cost&Complexity High AvailabilityPerformanceLow AvailabilityPerformance
    • 15. The Value of Data Over Time Thevalueofbackup decreasesovertime The value of archive does NOT decrease over time
    • 16. Build a Blueprint • Understand the available tiers • Assess your storage – understand the nature of your data • Identify what will work for your environment – Look for “low hanging fruit”… large opportunities • Build a blueprint of where you are today and where you want to be
    • 17. Building a Business Case • Have an informal discussion with the decision maker(s). – BEFORE you write your business case. – Discover what is important to them. • Construct your Business Case – Strong introductory paragraph (abstract). – Identifiable sections (x, x, x, etc.). – Eye candy is helpful. • Chart the savings/benefits. – Remember your boss is a big penny-pinching dummy ;) – Be prepared to discuss your position/decision.
    • 18. Did You Get What You Want? No – Throw a temper tantrum? Yes – Great Success! – What happens next?
    • 19. Data Migration • Manual – Robocopy (“robocopy /mir /copyall /MT /e /r:1 /w:1 /NP C:Source D:Destination /log:logname.log /TEE”) – FastCopy –  Minimize those maintenance windows! • Automation (is cool) – Archive Software – Storage Virtualization (Active Archive)
    • 20. Slowing Storage Growth • Data SLA’s – Archival of old projects & data – Data expiration policies • Quotas – Make folks contact you for more space • Manage Service Provider Mentality – Charge a fee… anything – Quarterly storage reports
    • 21. Future of Storage • Metadata associated with each file determines how the data is stored and retained • Active Archive – Blurs the lines of tiering – Global namespace • Common Index – Meet your unique compliance, governance, analytics, and recovery requirements • “Software-defined” storage – Policy-based decisions – Hardware agnostic solutions
    • 22. Takeaways • Modern data growth and retention policies requires a multi-tiered storage strategy – Multiple storage technologies will co-exist for some time • Build a blueprint that works for your environment • Don’t make decisions in the interim that interfere with your blueprint • Write your business case for the correct audience
    • 23. Takeaways (cont.) • You don’t need to be a large business to benefit from this process • Policy-driven storage decisions are your friend • Not going to get there overnight “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” -Creighton Abrams
    • 24.
    • 25. How to reach us: Brian Anderson, Storage Engineer EAGLE Software Inc. 124 Indiana Ave., Salina KS 67401 800-477-5432