Enhance Slow Storage with Flash and Tiers

Business requirements constantly change, but the desire to get faster – in decision making, process, and transactions – rarely abates.  As business runs on data, actions to get faster lead to decisions on how to speed up storage arrays. Storage arrays purchased 2-3 years ago may lack the flexibility to intelligently add newer and faster technologies like solid state disks in capacities which can deliver meaningful improvements in speed.  Managing the placement of the data to match the business requirements with the storage array capabilities, often called tiering, may be missing in the array or provide limited function.


Adding a standalone solid state appliance to front-end the storage array is an established approach, but adds another layer of complexity into operations – and places the burden of integration and optimization on IT.  Adding more or different types of disk drives is a long standing approach – and can be costly if the speed increase needed leads to more disk drives than the array can support.

An alternative is to transfer the control and management of the storage array to a system which provides solid state capacity and intelligent data management for tiered storage. NetApp pioneered this solution several years ago and it is available for use with other enterprise vendor storage arrays.  Adding V-Series to the existing storage array brings the following key functions and capabilities:


  • Virtual Storage Tier: real time workload analysis and data placement for optimized I/O.
  • Flash Cache: intelligent read caches which reduce latency by a factor of 10.
  • Flash Pool: automated storage tiering to mix solid state disk with hard disk technology.
  • Flash Accel: optimized use of server flash to increase throughput by up to 80%.


Understanding the full range of effective and acceptable alternatives to improve the speed of a storage array leads to better decisions. Including the V-Series product as a consideration brings unique flexibility and capability to addressing the constant business need for faster storage.


To learn how J. Craig Venter Institute utilizes V-Series to improve other vendor storage array performance: http://www.netapp.com/us/system/pdf-reader.aspx?pdfuri=tcm:10-61214-16&m=jcvi-ss.pdf


For V-Series information: http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/v-series/


For Virtual Storage Tier information: http://www.netapp.com/us/technology/virtual-storage-tier/index.aspx