Gone are the days of the single site enterprise that relied on files being manually emailed between employees for collaboration. We live today in the world of the multi-site, agile enterprise. Users across the globe must be able to simultaneously access and edit the same files to support common workflows. The shift to DevOps is a prime example of this trend. The problem is that the legacy network-attached storage (NAS) architectures were not designed to support multiple sites and a distributed user base. The result is discrete silos of NAS systems that add cost and complexity for IT and users alike.
One of the first problems with legacy NAS architectures is that they weren’t designed to facilitate multi-site collaboration. The process of getting the right data to the right user, at the right time is very challenging for IT. From a user perspective, they typically don’t facilitate real-time collaboration, for instance by protecting against file version overwrites. They also do not create a common storage resource pool that users can draw from, forcing users to learn multiple user interfaces as well as trying to figure out which NAS system they need to access.
NAS architectures were designed to be scale up. However, few can typically meet both the capacity and the performance demands of modern applications. This problem is compounded by the fact that resources, including capacity, are not shared and by the increasing density of SSDs. Planning for upgrade cycles has become nearly impossible due to how dynamic workloads are, and also because the enterprise might run out of either capacity or performance but typically not both at the same time. This may force the enterprise to sacrifice on capacity or performance, or to overbuy on either capacity or performance – neither of which is a palatable situation. It also often forces data migrations, which further add costs and complexity.
The costs inherent in the siloed nature of legacy NAS implementations become exacerbated when we factor in that they extend far beyond the cost of the storage system itself. Not only must additional data center floorspace (which is becoming increasingly scarce) must be procured, IT must spend time racking, stacking and managing that infrastructure. Additionally, the new systems must be outfitted with additional infrastructure such as power and cooling and networking.
The cloud can help in overcoming the NAS silo problem, but to do so it must be used effectively. Access Storage Switzerland’s on demand webinar with Nasuni to learn how to avoid new potential pitfalls when it comes to embracing the cloud for your modern file storage and collaboration requirements.
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