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Finding a path through the hype: Seven initial steps for your software-defined storage journey

Philip Davis, vice president & general manager, Storage, HP Asia-Pacific and Japan | June 16, 2015
In the right situation, and within the right company, SDS can present that coveted solution, reducing costs while increasing agility and flexibility.

When carefully evaluated, SDS can work together with your existing IT architecture to become an efficient, cost-effective and agile storage solution. Any enterprises who want to find out whether SDS is right for their business should begin by taking the following seven initial steps:

1.    Do your planning - understand what you have in your current IT environment, and how your data is being used. Think about what your storage solution needs to do for you so that you can plan to invest accordingly.

2.    Don't ignore what's in front of you - think about how you can reclaim your existing storage capacity, not just about purchasing new storage solutions. By doing so you can lower your costs and use the capacity you already own to deploy new applications.

3.    Reassess your data - take a good look at the data being stored to determine how critical it is to your business. Establishing this will help ensure you make the right storage decisions to match your requirements.

4.    Merge the old and the new - SDS solutions should seamlessly integrate your old world and the new world. Look for a solution that leverages your legacy infrastructure without creating another isolated storage silo. It should also help improve efficiency by reducing power, cooling and floor space requirements.

5.    Think about service level agreements - ensure your storage strategy contains the right level of service required to support any given application. That includes performance, level of business criticality and scale to be delivered.

6.    Safeguard against disruption - your storage requirements around disaster recovery and business continuity must not be compromised, otherwise your business will be at major risk. Avoid trading off data services functionality for an initial cost benefit.

7.    Understand your data protection costs - Protecting multiple copies of data stored on separate systems can be a huge cost burden. Ask yourself if you're using the right resources for first-level defense mechanisms to protect your online digital assets. SDS provides cost-effective solutions for both online assets and protection data - meaning you can better manage costs and not pay premium fees unnecessarily.

Ultimately, storage technology is not just about buying spinning disks that meet functional requirements or fare best in a comparison spreadsheet. It's about solving a business problem and understanding how your storage solution can play a part in helping to solve these challenges.

Achieving a successful SDS rollout requires a thoughtful and thorough investigation. In the right situation, and within the right company, SDS can present that coveted solution, reducing costs while increasing agility and flexibility. It can be a cure. However, the journey must start with these seven strategic steps.


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