• Fit for the future: 3 key things to know about modernising your SAN

 

Digital transformation is shaking up the way companies do business. One key outcome is the focus on new ways to unlock value from existing data, even whilst embracing next-gen social, mobile, cloud, and analytics technologies. IT infrastructure modernisation is needed to accelerate application performance, improve data center economics, and adapt to evolving business demands.

 

But many IT teams are working with aging storage systems that are difficult to maintain and which can’t keep up with new business needs, such as integration with the cloud. This is why modernising the enterprise SAN with flash storage is an important step towards simplifying and optimising your data centre; the time released allows your IT team to focus on growth and innovation, rather than maintenance.

Here are the top three things we think you need to know about modernising your SAN:

 

 1. Accelerate Every Application

 

Performance to accelerate every application - without disruptions

Migrating to a flash storage solution does much more than simply save you money. It improves the performance and availability of the applications you need to compete in a digital economy. You can accelerate your most important apps by up to 20 times compared to traditional storage—while minimising downtime. The result is big benefits for your customers, your IT, and your entire business.  

 

Better for customers

Customer experience is key to staying competitive. More than ever, your customer relationships are based on digital interactions—especially mobile ones. Unexpected downtime, or even a few seconds of delayed transactions, can cost you customers and repeat business. Whether you’re supporting customer-facing applications, internal applications, or both, optimising the performance and availability of your storage, servers, networks, and virtual environments will help ensure that you get the most out of every app. It’s better for your customers, improving the client experience and reducing customer churn with fast, continuous access to data.

 

Better for IT

Traditional storage solutions can be time-consuming to manage and optimise. When your IT team is spending time with performance tuning, load balancing, storage migration, and troubleshooting, they can’t focus on strategic issues and business growth. NetApp flash storage can help IT meet SLAs and performance demands from different internal stakeholders with dependable performance and fast provisioning templates that let you roll out new solutions in less than 10 minutes. You can perform maintenance and upgrades while your storage systems stay online, minimizing disruptive downtime. It’s better for IT, enabling them to increase relevance and play a more strategic role, while freeing up resources and empowering them with better productivity.

 

Better for your entire business

When your IT team is freed from chasing down outages and performance problems, it can focus on innovation and deliver a better customer experience. And happy customers often become repeat customers that fuel business growth. Because a flash-powered IT infrastructure can support performance levels that were previously unachievable, you can also deploy new applications and help the business take advantage of new opportunities.

 

 2. The ROI of Simplification

 

Complexity is a barrier to data center success. Over time, companies have accumulated a mix of complex and aging systems that require equipment refreshes and other ongoing CapEx investments. They may be stuck with complicated manual tools and processes that increase OpEx, introduce the potential for errors and other risks, and slow business agility. All-flash storage simplifies your IT infrastructure and operations, enabling you to modernise the data center while reducing your total cost of ownership (TCO).

 

Simplified infrastructure

How much can an outdated infrastructure impact your bottom line? The various data center systems that you’ve acquired over the years can consume vast amounts of space, power, cooling, and other resources, while limiting your flexibility. Managing and maintaining all those different devices can cause your expenses to soar.

Simplifying your infrastructure lets you improve density and unlock immediate savings. You can replace older equipment with the latest devices, freeing up space and decreasing power and cooling budgets by up to 10 times.

By eliminating specialised infrastructure to support different applications and services and standardising your hardware selections, you can also create a simpler, more flexible data center that can adapt to new requirements and support self service.

 

Simplified Operations

Managing a complex data center can consume valuable time, as your IT teams struggle to set up, configure, manage, and monitor storage and other elements. Simplifying operations by consolidating important data sets helps you reduce your data footprint, and free up your IT staff from worrying about compatibility problems, managing data protection tasks, and troubleshooting performance problems, so they can focus on higher value projects. With NetApp all-flash storage, you go from setup to serving data in just 10 minutes with a configuration optimised for your application profile. 

Integrated data protection also helps simplify backup and disaster recovery, increasing your level of protection and decreasing the risk of data loss.

 

Unlock substantial savings

All-flash-storage-pays.pngWhat happens when you simplify with all-flash storage modernisation and consolidation? A recent Gartner study1 found that all-flash storage pays for itself in just five to six months on average by reducing OpEx for administration, power, space, cooling, and maintenance. You’ll also realise dramatic improvements in your business performance, agility, and flexibility. These savings are important in an era when most IT budgets and staffing remain flat.

 

 

 3. A Future-Proof IT Architecture

The speed of change is accelerating, and as you modernise your infrastructure, you need to choose a solution that not only meets your immediate needs, but is flexible and scalable to meet tomorrow’s imperatives. 

NetApp storage is unique in its ability to help you adapt dynamically to changing business demands. It frees you from the stress of data migration, so you can take on new projects while protecting your existing investments.

 

Adapt to Changing Business Demands

It’s clear that a traditional approach to IT, with outdated storage technologies and disparate, siloed systems built around individual applications, can’t keep up with today’s challenges.

If you can’t deliver the infrastructure and resources your business and developer stakeholders need to be successful, they may go around you and acquire their own cloud-based solutions. These “shadow IT” groups might solve some short-term issues, but they create new risks to security, data integrity, and compliance requirements.

Modernising your data center through a hybrid cloud approach is a better way. It combines on-premises private cloud infrastructure with cloud services as needed. Offer your users a menu of choices, which could include both on-premises and cloud services, and monitor usage. You can decide which applications will work best in the cloud, and which ones you run on premises. You keep control of your most critical, sensitive apps and data, while unlocking the agility of cloud.

 

Transition with Ease

The-migration-to.pngA major data center transformation can be intimidating. After all, you’re dealing with your company’s most important business assets, and a misstep can disrupt your business operations or even damage your company’s reputation.

NetApp can help you address your migration concerns with proven upgrade approaches, so you can move forward with confidence. For example, make it easy to seamlessly migrate data from your existing SAN. As data is migrated, you can roll out application-integrated data protection services that increase the level of protection provided for critical data.

When your data is stored on NetApp, the NetApp Data Fabric provides uniformity across your data center and cloud resources, including consistent data formats, fast and efficient data transport, and consistent management.

 

Protect Your Investment

Data modernisation isn’t a product, but an ongoing journey. Even after your new solution is deployed and working well, you still need to consider the best way to protect your investment. You’ll need a market-leading vendor with proven success who will be with you as you continue to move forward.

  • NetApp is a leading vendor in enterprise storage solutions, and an innovator in flash technologies.
  • Named a Leader in the Gartner Solid State Array Magic Quadrant2
  • Growing fastest among the top five SAN vendors3

Only NetApp combines the industry leadership, together with the hardware and software innovation you need to grow your business in today’s challenging marketplace.

 

 The Smart Choice for IT Transformation

More than ever, the success of your business depends on your digital presence. NetApp provides a flexible, proven data infrastructure that enables you to drive innovation and deliver a superior experience to customers—every time. You can dramatically accelerate app performance, while continuing to support both existing and emerging applications with NetApp’s unified data management platform.

NetApp solutions are built for change, enabling you to scale dynamically and move applications freely to where they run best—on-premises or in the cloud. So you can be confident that your business will have the agility and innovation you need to keep up in a dynamic digital world.

 

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References

1. Gartner, Solid-State Array TCO Reality Check, January 22, 2016
2. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays, August 2016
3. IDC, WW Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker 2016Q4, March 2017
4. Ibid