Data Center Modernization 101

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EMC declared 2016 as the Year of All-Flash – now is the time to modernize your data center by switching to all-flash storage arrays!  Of course, choosing the right all-flash array is just the beginning of the journey and there are other steps that need to be taken in order to maximize the value that all-flash can deliver to your business. Here are some important considerations for your data center modernization efforts:

Step 1:  Make the Move

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After finding the ideal all-flash appliance for your business, prepare your old arrays for retirement by migrating all of your data over. This sounds like a daunting process, one that traditionally takes 6 to 9 months to complete, but it can be made easier by using non-disruptive online tech refresh that a solution like VPLEX provides. This minimizes the time to value of the new flash arrays from months to days by migrating data over without any required downtime. Your data and applications remain accessible and your business keeps running all while modernizing your data center.

Step 2:  Keep All-Flash Always On

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Congratulations! Your data and applications have been moved in record-breaking time, and your new all-flash environment is already delivering much greater performance. It’s not difficult to love the speed and power of flash, but that doesn’t mean flash arrays are any less susceptible to disaster situations that can result in data loss. Power outages, fire, flooding, or human error can all put your critical data – and by extension, your business – at risk leading to loss of revenue and customer satisfaction. Luckily, preventive measures can be taken to ensure your data is continuously available, despite unforeseen disasters. Data sent down a particular host’s data path can be copied between arrays, whether they’re in the same data center or not. This keeps your flash environment always on even if one array fails, and your data and applications are safe and always available. Learn more about continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions.

Don’t forget the network: Make sure your SAN environment doesn’t become a bottle neck for the blazing fast flash performance. When implementing high availability replication technologies the communication link between the data centers also needs to be looked at to make sure that it can handle the traffic between the datacenters.


Step 3: Accelerate IT Operations

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Before you know it, your data center already requires changing configurations, moving applications, load balancing servers, using more of cloud storage etc. No business is immune to frequent adjustments, and their IT specialists shouldn’t struggle to meet new demands due to limitations of technology. Evaluate your current level of IT infrastructure agility – how much effort and downtime is involved in moving applications for load balancing, consolidating data centers for better resource utilization or moving data back and forth between your data center and public cloud. Once again server and storage virtualization go a long way to make these tasks easy and non-disruptive and help create infrastructure that can turn on a dime.

Moving to all-flash storage is a great step to modernize your data center to deliver uncompromised application performance. It is also a great opportunity to take a deeper look at your entire infrastructure to identify and eliminate sources of inefficiencies. With the right technology in place you can realize the full advantage of the all-flash storage to create data centers that are well protected, always available and agile to operate.

 

Note:  This blog was co-written by Parasar Kodati

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