Introducing the Cascade Down Approach to Data Storage

Cascade Data Storage

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The fact that speed of information processing and retrieval is a genuine competitive advantage means that your organization needs to squeeze every last ounce of performance from line of business applications. Which is why the emergence of ‘affordable’ flash storage is so important.

For this reason, here at CDS we strongly recommend that our clients do adopt flash storage for their mission-critical operations. 

HDD is dead blah blah blah

The improved IO speeds offered by flash drives – regardless of vendor – coupled with reports of Samsung’s new 15TB monster drive, has led to some tech ‘prophets’ to proclaim the death of spinning disks. But in the same way that tape archiving refuses to disappear completely (or optical for that matter, hard disk drives are unlikely to disappear any time soon.

Despite the falling cost of flash storage, spinning disks are still far cheaper per TB, providing the logical choice for all but the most speed-critical applications. We recently worked with a client who had been quoted $12,000 per flash drive to resolve a hardware issue; clearly these costs are unsustainable for all but mission-critical applications.

Enter the ‘cascade down’ approach to storage

Flash drives are unlikely to kill spinning disks – but the end may finally have arrived for tape archives. Today’s high performance spinning disk arrays will almost certainly be replaced by flash/hybrid units when they reach EoSL. But rather than scrapping these units, they can be used to replace even older equipment – like your ageing tape archives.

Your team already knows that this is equipment is stable and reliable, so backed by a suitable third party maintenance contract you benefit from a double performance boost. First, the headline benefit of the new flash-based equipment, followed by a second performance boost when archive data is moved from (incredibly slow) tape, to comparatively quick spinning disk.

This cascade-down approach also ensures that archive data is always online, allowing your business to analyse historical trends if required, or to shorten the time usually required to access archive records. Extending the usable lifespan of EoSL hardware in this way allows your business to realise exponentially greater returns on investment at every level of your data storage hierarchy.

Ready to learn more about cascade-down hardware deployments and third party maintenance? Give us a call.