Modern Storage Solutions That SMBs Can AffordAugust 15, 2016
By Brad Parks, Director, Go-To-Market Strategy and Enablement, Storage, HPE
When it comes to the newer, more powerful and cost-efficient storage technologies, many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have been on the outside looking in.
While large enterprises have deployed flash storage for mainstream application performance, software-defined storage for cost savings and hyper-convergence to accelerate time-to-value, smaller organizations are often getting by with older and less capable storage platforms. This compromise becomes even more problematic when you contrast the need for companies to fully utilize these investments for many years against the rapid rate of change in today’s business environment.
The roadblocks to modernizing data storage have led to problems such as poor application performance, higher operational expenses, unexpected downtime and technology dead ends. Enough is enough…. or to put it another way good enough is no longer good enough.
As with technologies that have come before traditional high-end capabilities found their way to the midrange and now down into entry price points. The difference is that trajectory has accelerated with flash going from niche to mainstream to SMB accessible in just a matter of a year or two. With new shared storage solutions from HPE, these game-changing technologies are now within reach of everybody.
The cost barriers and complexity concerns that have kept smaller businesses from deploying flash and other newer solutions are being shattered. We’ve already seen the huge tangible benefits companies can derive from using flash. For example, an HPE customer that’s in the auto parts retail business used to run an inventory analytics report every night prior to the next day’s business. This process would take all night, and was a gating factor to how far their company could go.
Now, with flash storage, all of a sudden a process that often took eight hours overnight takes just 30 minutes, and the retailer can not only assure that stores are ready to open the next morning they can actually expand their business into new geographies several time zones away.
Enterprise customers that have broadly deployed flash have also seen a dramatic impact on operational and administrative expenses and performance. Previously, business users would call systems administrator to complain that apps were running too slowly which in turn drove up maintenance and administrative costs. Now, those app performance problems have almost magically gone away, and IT staffers are free to spend time on more innovative areas. In a sense, flash can be like bacon; it makes everything better.
While software-defined storage and hyper-converged solutions have not been around as long, IT is rapidly beginning to realize the potential for significant cost savings and accelerated processes. With these technologies too, the costs have come down to the point where they are much more affordable. The key with these new technologies though is for customers to be able to have a flexible path to get on (or off) of them without disruption. This requires designing for simplicity across different form factors which isn’t possible unless you are able to think across servers, storage, software domains. Again this is unique in how HPE is tackling entry storage with software-defined DNA.
For SMBs, pushing past the status quo and demanding more from your infrastructure supplier is an absolute requirement to compete big. By deploying flash and other modern storage solutions, they can enhance application performance, simplify storage management, have built-in resiliency and take advantage of scalability as the company grows. They can build more modern storage infrastructures—just like the giant global enterprises do.