Tier 1 – Tier 4 data centers can achieve massive operational, technical and financial gains by understanding, addressing and servicing the issues posed by ageing, but still fully functional, storage equipment.
Infrastructure and Application Needs
After over 30 years of servicing the IT storage industry, in the last decade it has become increasingly obvious that supporting infrastructure is progressively failing both our business needs and adoption of innovation. This isn’t new news. Moore’s Law 50 years ago highlighted the challenges we would face in IT growth, with required backend processing capacity doubling every two years.
Today at the front end, developers are delivering increasingly powerful and hungry applications that could truly benefit businesses and deliver competitive edge, but these power apps place even greater demands on already-pressed storage infrastructures, often leading to insufficient performance that hinders digital enablement and adoption across the organization.
The 80/20 Rule
True, the 80/20 rule – (80% of resources are dedicated to 20% of the most critical apps) – has become widely adopted across IT departments, meaning an organization’s lifeblood. Apps such as ERP, CRM and automation tools are frequently ‘treated’ to upgrades like costly, brand new SSDs for full access speed and uptime.
But what happens to non-critical applications such as file and print, archived data and email? Generally, they fall outside of the mission critical SSD turbo-charging regime and are often tethered to older, legacy, primary storage systems. That’s not to say their role is not significant, quite the opposite in fact, but internal performance delays are deemed more acceptable.
Addressing Performance in Legacy IT Environments
In our experience, IT Managers are loathe to rip and replace perfectly adequate, working equipment. So that poses another challenge: is there a way to address the performance, bottlenecking and system configuration clashes for non-critical apps running in such legacy environments? Let’s start by talking about the advantages of outsourcing maintenance provision to bolster storage infrastructures that sit behind non-critical apps.
At Curvature, we strongly believe there is a way, and we advise customers how to successfully extend the life of Dell EMC Clariion, Celerra, VNX, Isilon, Data Domain and NetApp FAS storage systems. Our tailored program begins with a holistic, one-stop appraisal and recommendation service that identifies gaps and suggests optimizations. We simply call this service the Curvature storage ‘Health Check,’ and it’s the perfect independent solution for managers of data centers with mid-range storage interesting in boosting application performance without adding huge operational and cost overheads.
What is A Storage Health Check
The Health Check Concept is not new or novel but it is effective. As truly independent and unbiased advisors, Curvature can reliably assess multiple storage devices from different vendors and provide actionable insights that profoundly extend usability. These insights can range from fine-tuning to cope with performance I/O conflicts, to flagging imminent failures in the environment.
Our Health Check is conducted remotely, without accessing data and without disruption – inside or outside of business hours – by Curvature expert manufacturer-certified engineers, who really know the hardware ins and outs. These experts can quickly identify operational storage issues, such as failed disk drives that could be hindering the infrastructure, or power supplies or components that are on the edge of failure; and provide an in-depth performance analysis to detail bottlenecks.
This service has become such a staple of Curvature’s storage expertise that our storage TPM business now accounts for $90 million each year. This strength and reputation for storage optimization allows us to select and recruit the most sought-after expert storage engineers, who come readily equipped with their own backgrounds of OEM certifications across platforms.
The deployment of the recommendations produced by the verified Health Check process helps to reduce problems with data availability, redundancy and support and restore non-critical apps to their former glory.
Storage Maintenance Choices
Curvature’s storage expertise goes beyond mere analysis and recommendations. We also provide independent support for brands like Dell EMC, NetApp, Hitatchi, IBM and HPE, offering storage managers an alternative to OEM maintenance that allow a number of advantages. Curvature dramatically reduces maintenance and support costs compared to the manufacturers, while managing equipment from multiple vendors under a single contract and providing unified solutions at a far lower price.
As one of our customers, Dave Kelly of Schneider Electric described before finding Curvature: “What we really wanted was a one-stop shop to handle all our global needs. But we never really found one company that could do it all with the same level of support and service excellence. We saw an immediate opportunity to lower maintenance costs with Curvature. Over the course of the next year, the value of using Curvature as an alternative to legacy manufacturer support became obvious.”
Next Steps for Your Storage Maintenance
All of this is good news for the 80% of apps that do not require what we term as ‘total reverence.’ We encourage you to contact us for a Storage Health Check and see what we can do to improve your non-critical apps. With over 50,000 storage assets worldwide currently using our maintenance services, you will be in good company.