Eliminating the storage forklift upgrade challenge | SUSE Communities

Eliminating the storage forklift upgrade challenge


Modernising storage infrastructure is generally expensive, time consuming, difficult, and all too frequently unavoidable. It’s expensive because the systems don’t come cheap (particularly purpose built appliances for backup and dedupe), time consuming because you have endless engineering dependencies to work out on apps and data, difficult because of the wide variety of choice, legacy complexity and future-proofing challenges, and unavoidable because of huge compound annual data volume growth and legal compliance requirements. Oh, and the business doesn’t take kindly to downtime – even when it’s you that is doing the work on the weekend.

On top of this, what you engineer for today is seldom fit for purpose on a sustained basis. All around the world, organisations are faced with rapidly increasing data volumes – for some organisations as much as 25% a year. The drivers for this growth include the exploding growth of mobile usage, massive email archives, medical data – and even straightforward, bog-standard, transactional data – the stuff that pretty much everyone has. If you’re finding it tough, you’re in good company.

Maintaining the expected level of service to the business can be very challenging:

  • You need to keep large volumes of data online – live access down the wire.
  • As applications (especially digital) move to 24/7 operation your backup window is shrinking
  • Disk failure is a fact of life – happening as regular as clockwork – and achieving the usual RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is shortening and becoming more difficult to achieve at the same time
  • Data you thought was safe to send by truck to an offsite tape library turns out to be needed, and needed now. (And sometimes, even when you pull it back the tapes can be dud).
  • And often enterprises need to have at least two sets of data in different locations because of compliance requirements
  • You need lots of very skilled people to run it – maintenance costs are high

What you really, really don’t need in these circumstances is to be faced with an ongoing requirement to do annual ‘forklift’ upgrades.

The term ‘forklift’ describes the moment your supplier drives an actual, genuine, honest-to-goodness forklift truck into your data centre, picks up a huge piece of redundant, expensive and outdated ‘tin’ and moves it off for recycling after installing the shiny new replacement. It’s the most disruptive way of adding to your capacity, it junks huge costs (think about End of Life for that de-dupe appliance you’ve probably got running), it pretty much mandates downtime the business hates you for wanting – and sooner or later its going to look like a sticking plaster anyway!

Open Source Software Defined Storage promises to answer many of these challenges by allowing enterprises to pool storage resources, and move away from expensive traditional approaches that are fast becoming unaffordable.

So ,here’s a great suggestion for dealing with the forklift challenge: don’t do it unless you absolutely have to. There are many places in the enterprise where Open Source Software Defined Storage from SUSE can help you avoid the forklift altogther, save on cost, scale to the Exabyte level and beyond, keep your data online, and reduce complexity of management.

  • Keep more data online compared to dedupe appliances
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Reduced risk of data loss from tape
  • Distribute backup data in multiple regions for improved governance and compliance
  • Block, Object and File support
  • Self-healing, self-managing
  • Support from many ISVs (present now or coming soon!)

Its your challenge, and your choice. But if you’re looking at the next forklift upgrade, and End of Life for a purpose built backup or de-dupe appliance, its time to consider a change of approach that gives you scale without disruption, its time to consider SUSE.



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