What’s best for enterprise storage customers when times are tough?

Storage is one of the areas where an IT department can deliver very substantial cost savings, without sacrificing availability, reliability, performance, or cyber resilience. By Richard Bradbury – SVP EMEA & APJ at Infinidat.

When Infinidat first began highlighting its low cost of ownership benefits compared to other enterprise storage platforms, executives at our award-winning company could not have conceived that this message would become so significant to users.

Cost efficiency is always essential, but fast forward to winter 2022 and its relevance is greater than ever. IT costs are soaring, and business leaders continue to scramble to find ways to lower costs. We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, with economic uncertainty unseen since the 1970s set against a global backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty. Added to this, business energy costs are rocketing and earlier attempts by the government to control expenditure have floundered. There are ways to contain some of these costs, by taking a more strategic approach to storage infrastructure. Making this change will make a huge difference to the bottom line.

For organisations that that require low-latency, high-throughput access to consolidated data of more than a petabyte, there are multiple ways that Infinidat helps companies to control their storage costs. The potential savings are so significant, we believe Infinidat’s products should be the de facto enterprise storage platform of choice for any organisation wanting to minimise the current economic and energy crisis.

Hyper consolidation opportunity

An organization knows it’s experiencing storage proliferation when the number of storage arrays has amassed 10, 12, 15, 20, 40 or more. Implemented gradually over time, array numbers increase in proportion to increased need for data storage capacity and additional workloads. With the explosion of data volumes in recent years, this is no surprise, but such a high number of storage units inevitably causes problems. Inefficiency, excessive costs, overly complex data centres, poor storage management, negative environmental impact, a larger cyberattack vector and waste, being the prime offenders

Storage consolidation is an ideal way to solve this issue and Infinidat goes a step further, leading the way in hyper consolidation. For example, without interrupting an organisation’s operations we can convert 20+ storage arrays into a few InfiniBox solutions, providing easier management, cost savings, greater efficiency, cyber resilience, and sustainability aligned with green IT goals. Thanks to advancements in enterprise software-defined storage technology, there is no longer any need for 25 or 50 different older arrays, each running one application or workload, all applications and workloads can reside on just a few modern enterprise storage platforms.

Data centre simplification through the strategic consolidation of storage systems saves on power and cooling expenditure, minimises operational manpower, shrinks the need for rack space and floor space, and substantially reduces the CAPEX and OPEX of data centre storage. It’s also possible to consolidate storage whilst simultaneously improving real-world application and workload performance across a hybrid cloud and a container-native environment. Beyond cost management, this offers the additional benefits of greater cyber resilience and higher availability.

Triple redundancy protection

To allay any concerns about becoming vulnerable to downtime after consolidating, it’s important to mention the advantage of Infinidat’s triple redundancy approach. Any business reliant upon on a dual-redundancy storage architecture is using an outdated architecture, one that does not deliver the level of reliability needed in our digitised world. Best practice in storage has moved on - to a triple-redundancy architecture - because it offers high reliability, availability, and durability.

Infinidat does this by offering three layers of controller redundancy, coupled with a self-healing architecture based on Infinidat’s patented InfiniRAID data layout and predictive failure analytics. In addition, Infinidat goes a step further and provides a 100% availability guarantee for its InfiniBox solutions. The reassurance that comes with this means a hyper consolidation strategy can become a reality for every organisation, regardless of industry sector.

Minimise human resource overheads

Talent shortages continue to trouble the IT sector and finding qualified technical resources to manage storage environments is no exception. By deploying Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) within data storage, enterprises can simultaneously overcome talent shortages, centralize their operations and improve cost management.

AIOps is essentially a dynamic way to simplify IT operations, reduce administrative overheads and add a predictive layer onto the data infrastructure. Through AIOps, the resources required to manage data centre operations can be permanently reduced and any engineers that are still required can be trained and fully efficient very quickly. AIOps achieves this by combining automation with analytics and deep machine learning on a multi-layered technology platform, Infinidat’s Neural Cache. Its deep learning capabilities deliver a zero-touch, “set-it-and-forget-it” experience that continues to optimize application environments and performance over time. Very significantly for today’s economic environment, it dynamically adapts to changing application, user and performance demands without excessive administrative overhead – using advanced predictive analytics and early issue detection, combined with proactive support.

Flexible consumption models

All these benefits are important, but they are not enough in isolation to satisfy today’s enterprise challenges when it comes to cost cutting. It is also critical to flex how a business can consume their storage technology needs. While some organizations still prefer to buy equipment outright for their on-prem data centres, others prefer more flexible, cloud-like procurement models that allow for budget-friendly capacity- or usage-based payment approaches.

Flexible consumption is perhaps the most disruptive trend to impact enterprise IT over the past half-decade. Infinidat’s flexible approach makes it particularly easy for organisations to work with us, with a choice of three distinct consumption approaches. The simplest and most traditional model is the standard up-front purchase, but even this offers some important cost saving advantages for customers thanks to the AIOps and deep machine learning capabilities. Uniquely, Infinidat's solutions are all-inclusive, spanning current and future feature upgrades, installation and 3 years of premium support. They also include a further cost benefit, a dedicated technical advisor (TA) to assist your in-house team and reduce any need for external technical consultants.

In tandem we offer Elastic Pricing, combining Infinidat's Capacity on Demand model with OPEX burst capability. Customers who are scaling their business rapidly and expect to grow further in the short term adopt this model. It’s beneficial because Infinidat will deliver a full system to the customer, but only charge them for what they need. No license keys, buffer capacity or migrations are needed.

The final addition to consumption-based pricing options is FLX, whereby customers pay according to what they use and need. It’s very simple. The more they need, the more they pay. And the less they need, the less they pay. If customers know they have large storage requirements for their mission-critical applications, we have the solution with our standard, up-front purchase model. If customers know they're going to grow, we have Elastic. If customers really aren't sure and want to remain flexible, we have FLX.

Almost all businesses are facing unique challenges and due to continuing economic uncertainties, a considerable amount of turbulence lies ahead. Whilst we can never fully predict the future, enterprises can always model for best-case outcomes. This same logic applies to storage ad one thing every enterprise user can always be sure of, it’s that Infinidat’s technical teams have their best interests at heart.

By Eric Herzog, CMO, Infinidat.
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