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Enterprise Storage: Trends, Solutions & Buyer's Guides

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Enterprise storage is redhot. With rising demands due to an explosion of data, increased adoption of flash and hybrid arrays, and more private, public and hybrid cloud storage options then ever before, enterprise storage is seeing plenty of innovation.

Cloud storage services, and especially hybrid cloud options, are growing in popularity as more businesses are taking advantage of the on-demand capacity the cloud can provide. Enterprise cloud storage providers promise to reduce infrastructure and management costs while improving data accessibility. Intelligent hybrid flash/disk storage solutions take advantage of high performance flash for hot data, while utilizing cheaper hard drives for cold data. And as flash storage pricing continues to drop, all-flash storage arrays are becoming viable options for many. 

What's next for enterprise storage? [See Enterprise Storage News] You'll notice more vendors are incorporating storage efficiency technologies, like deduplication and thin provisioning, into their systems. Storage virtualization is also becoming a key area of innovation for vendors offering better archiving, backup and recovery administration. Many are focusing on converged storage solutions that integrate compute and storage to optimize application performance and reduce the storage footprint. 2015 is also the year for software-defined storage solutions with more SDS options to choose from. Below you'll find information on solutions, major players and the latest trends in enterprise storage. 

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  • On-Prem Storage Solutions for the Enterprise

Converged and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions

Today's converged infrastructure systems can take a hardware-focused, building-block approach or a more software-defined, hyper-converged approach. See how the two models differ and what the available solutions are in each area.

>> See: Converged vs. Hyper-Converged Solutions
>> See: The Building Blocks of Converged Infrastructure

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Server SAN Solutions

Storage experts say Server SANs will soon replace traditional storage infrastructure, offering enterprises scale and performance. Get to know the Server SAN architecture and the benefits it brings to the table.

>> See: Server SAN Defined: Architecture and Examples
>> See: Demystifying the Server SAN

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On-Prem Backup & Disaster Recovery Storage Solutions

There are a number of high-end as well as more affordable on-premises storage solutions for backup and disaster recovery, both for large enterprises and SMBs. Here's a look at what's available in the B&DR storage space.

>> See: On-Prem Storage for Backup & Disaster Recovery
>> See: On-Prem B&DR Considerations

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Hybrid Storage Solutions

Hybrid storage arrays, incorporating flash and traditional HDDs, are a cost effective option for increasing storage performance. Today's hybrid arrays include software capabilities for tier and data management so you can get the most out of the hardware.

>> See: Hybrid Storage Solutions Comparison
>> See: Enterprise Hybrid Storage Vendor List
>> See: Hybrid Storage: Feature Comparison

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Top Hybrid Storage Systems

Hybrid storage solutions utilize intelligent software to keep cold, warm and hot data optimized for efficient placement within the storage tiers. The HDDs handle the cold data that isn't accessed daily, while SSDs handle the data that's used more frequently.

>> See: Top 5 Hybrid Storage Systems
>> See: Tintri Hybrid Storage Review

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All-Flash Storage Solutions

While the cost of all-flash arrays is still much higher per gigabyte than traditional hard disk storage, the advantage that flash brings to the table is worth the cost in many cases. Here's what you can expect from today's all-flash storage arrays.

>> See: All-Flash Storage Solutions Comparison
>> See: Enterprise All-Flash Storage Vendor List
>> See: All-Flash Storage: Feature Comparison

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Building a Business Case for Flash Storage

All-flash storage is still an expensive option for enterprises, but it can bring some unique business advantages. Here's what to consider and how to build a business case for flash storage in the data center.

>> See: How to Build a Business Case for Flash Storage
>> See: All-Flash Storage Array Costs and Benefits
>> See: Advantages of Flash in the Data Center

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Scale-Out NAS Solutions

The advantages of scale-out over scale-up storage are readily apparent. Here's what's available in the scale-out NAS arena and how to choose the right network attached storage for your scale-out needs.

>> See: 4 Scale-Out NAS Solutions Compared
>> See: Scale-Out NAS: Major Purchasing Considerations

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  • Cloud Storage Solutions for the Enterprise

Cloud Storage Solutions

When evaluating cloud storage, it's important to understand all of the options and use cases. Cloud storage can be used as primary data storage, backup, as well as a secure sync and share services for end users to increase productivity. 

>> See: Cloud Storage Solutions Comparison
>> See: Cloud Storage: Introduction to Offsite Data Storage
>> See: Dropbox vs Box  and Dropbox vs OneDrive

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Building a Business Case for Cloud Storage

Building a successful business case for cloud storage involves evaluating the risks and benefits of having your data in the cloud and looking through all of your options. After that, it all comes down to putting together an investment analysis that will show how cloud storage can save costs over time.

>> See: How to Build a Business Case for Cloud Storage
>> See: Enterprise Cloud Storage Vendor List

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Hybrid Cloud Backup Solutions

The word "hybrid" usually refers to an on-premises to cloud backup solution, however, some hybrid cloud backup solutions are a combination of one vendor's on-premises gateway and another vendor's cloud storage solution.

>> See: Hybrid Cloud Backup Vendors
>> See: Hybrid Cloud Backup: Feature Comparison
>> See: Introduction to Hybrid Cloud Storage

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Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions

Using the cloud for backup and disaster recovery allows organizations to reduce costs, both from a capex and opex perspective. Here are four things to consider when evaluating cloud back and disaster recovery solutions.

>> See: Evaluating Cloud Backup & DR Providers
>> See: Top 4 Cloud Backup & DR Considerations

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  • Enterprise Storage Components

Enterprise HDDs

Enterprise IT is all a buzz about flash and cloud storage, but hard drive technologies continue to evolve, increasing density and improving performance. Learn about Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR), helium-filled hard drives, SMR technology and other advancements in hard disk enterprise storage.

>> See: New Storage Technologies and the Future of HDDs

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Enterprise SSDs

Solid-state drives are a "hot" technology, but there are some SSD innovations that are especially worth a closer look. Here are the hottest SSDs available today and the most influential flash companies making them.

>> See: 5 Hottest SSDs Available Now
>> See: 5 Hottest PCIe SSDs Available Now
>> See: 5 Most Influential Flash Storage Companies

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