Increasing Agility with a Modern Storage Network

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The combination of heated competition and high customer expectations is feeding the demand for greater operational agility in every organization. Employees must have the ability to transform massive amounts of data into actionable insight while delivering the superior service customers demand. That calls for a more responsive, reliable IT infrastructure—but organizations also need to minimize delays, costs, and downtime while they make that infrastructure more agile.

Although IT teams are under pressure to respond promptly and cost-effectively to changes in both the market and the IT environment, it's impossible to predict new demands from the lines of business, new competitive threats, or how much bandwidth to allocate for applications that don't yet exist. All you really know is that you must prepare your infrastructure for any possibility.

Many organizations have chosen to address these needs by adding hyperconverged systems that combine compute with storage. These self-contained systems seem easy to install and manage, but it's their very self-contained nature that makes it difficult to add storage and reconfigure them as needed—and that lack of flexibility impacts overall agility.

The solution is to deploy a modern, easily extensible storage fabric based on Fibre Channel technology and Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), the super-fast communications protocol designed specifically to move data on and off high-speed solid state storage media.

Configurable, expandable, and backwards-compatible, Fibre Channel includes built-in capabilities like automated management, self-healing tools, increased visibility to support optimization, and the ability to add and reconfigure new capacity in near real-time to meet needs as they arise. The combination of Fibre Channel and NVMe makes it easy to plug in more flash storage modules to configure and create a new low-latency data stream on the fly. This allows you to add or upgrade storage without having to upgrade the rest of the infrastructure at the same time.

You can further increase agility by monitoring and managing your storage infrastructure end-to-end and in real time: moving storage resources where they're needed, spotting and addressing application degradation, optimizing application performance on virtual machines, and adjusting both the speed and volume of data throughput—all without interrupting network performance.

The technology provides visibility into all virtual machines at once so they can understand how one application affects others or how moving an application between servers will impact overall performance. It also enables automatic provisioning with built-in, high-performance, time-proven templates so you can copy existing configurations to new storage resources as they're installed.

In that way, you can serve up new applications and instances as quickly as they're needed. This advanced automation makes IT more productive, efficient, and cost-effective while providing monitoring capabilities that allow you to eliminate network bottlenecks and streamline operations.

A modern storage fabric at the heart of your data center is essential to the agile IT environment that empowers you to compete in the digital economy. It does more than simply speed the movement of data between storage and critical applications. It provides a strategic platform for innovation, where you can unleash new products or services that increase revenue and delight customers.

When you spend less time on storage management and more time on strategic initiatives, your organization can treat every employee requirement, customer demand, and market change as if it's mission-critical — because it is.

For more guidance on modern storage strategies, visit our Network World blog page.

To learn more about Brocade’s advanced storage networking solutions, visit us here.