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Trusted Business Advisors, Expert Technology Analysts

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Profile

The Best All-Flash Array for SAP HANA

These days the world operates in real-time all the time. Whether making airline reservations or getting the best deal from an online retailer, data is expected to be up to date with the best information at your fingertips. Businesses are expected to meet this requirement, whether they sell products or services. Having this real-time, actionable information can dictate whether a business survives or dies. In-memory databases have become popular in these environments. The world's 24X7 real-time demands cannot wait for legacy ERP and CRM application rewrites. Companies such as SAP devised ways to integrate disparate databases by building a single super-fast uber-database that could operate with legacy infrastructure while simultaneously creating a new environment where real-time analytics and applications can flourish. These capabilities enable businesses to succeed in the modern age, giving forward-thinking companies a real edge in innovation.

SAP HANA is an example of an application environment that uses in-memory database technology and allows the processing of massive amounts of real-time data in a short time. The in-memory computing engine allows HANA to process data stored in RAM as opposed to reading it from a disk. At the heart of SAP HANA is a database that operates on both OLAP and OLTP database workloads simultaneously. SAP HANA can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. Originally, on-premises HANA was available only as a dedicated appliance. Recently SAP has expanded support to best in class components through their SAP Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) program. In this solution profile, Taneja Group examined the storage requirements needed for HANA TDI environments and evaluated storage alternatives including the HPE 3PAR StoreServ All Flash. We will make a strong case as to why all-flash arrays like the HPE 3PAR version are a great fit for SAP HANA solutions.

Why discuss storage for an in-memory database? The reason is simple: RAM loses its mind when the power goes off. This volatility means that persistent shared storage is at the heart of the HANA architecture for scalability, disaster tolerance, and data protection. The performance attributes of your shared storage dictate how many nodes you can cluster into a SAP HANA environment which in turn affects your business outcomes. Greater scalability capability means more real-time information is processed. SAP HANA workload shared storage requirements are write intensive with low latency for small files and sequential throughput performance for large files. However, the overall storage capacity is not extreme which makes this workload an ideal fit for all-flash arrays that can meet performance requirements with the smallest quantity of SSDs. Typically you would need 10X the equivalent spinning media drives just to meet the performance requirements, which then leaves you with a massive amount of capacity that cannot be used for other purposes.

In this study, we examined five leading all-flash arrays including the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 All Flash. We found that the unique architecture of the 3PAR array could meet HANA workload requirements with up to 73% fewer SSDs, 76% less power, and 60% less rack space than the alternative AFAs we evaluated. 

Publish date: 06/07/17
Report

Companies Improve Data Protection and More with Cohesity

We talked to six companies that have implemented Cohesity DataProtect and/or the Cohesity DataPlatform. When these companies evaluated Cohesity, their highest priority was reducing storage costs and improving data protection. To truly modernize their secondary storage infrastructure, they also recognized the importance of having a scalable, all-in-one solution that could both consolidate and better manage their entire secondary data environment.

Prior to implementing Cohesity, many of the companies we interviewed had significant challenges with the high cost of their secondary storage. Several factors contributed to the high costs including the need to license multiple products, inadequate storage reduction, the need for professional services and extensive training, difficulty scaling and maintaining systems and adding capacity to expensive primary storage for lower-performance services, such as group file shares.

In addition to lower storage costs, all the companies we talked to also wanted a better data protection solution. Many companies were struggling with slow backup speeds, insufficient recovery times and cumbersome data archival methods. Solution complexity and high operational overhead was also a major issue. To address these issues, companies wanted a unified data protection solution that offered better backup performance, instant data recovery, simplified management, and seamless cloud integration for long-term data retention.

Companies also wanted to improve overall secondary storage management and they shared a common goal of combining secondary storage workloads under one roof. Depending on their environment and their operational needs, their objectives outside of data protection included providing self-service access to copies of production data for on-demand environments (such as test/dev), using secondary storage for file services and leveraging indexing and advanced search and analytics to find out-of-place confidential data and ensure data compliance.

Cohesity customers found that the key to addressing these challenges and needs is Cohesity’s Hyperconverged Secondary Storage. Cohesity is a pioneer of Hyperconverged Secondary Storage, a new category of secondary storage based on a webscale, distributed file system that scales linearly and provides global data deduplication and automatic indexing as well as advanced search and analytics and policy-based management of all secondary storage workloads. These capabilities combine to provide a single system that efficiently stores, manages, and understands all data copies and workflows residing in a secondary storage environment – whether the data is on-premises or in the cloud. There are no point products, therefore less complexity and lower licensing costs.

It’s a compelling value proposition, and importantly, every company we talked to stated that Cohesity has met and exceeded their expectations and has helped them rapidly evolve their data protection and overall secondary data management. To learn about each customer’s journey, we examined their business needs, their data center environment, their key challenges, the reasons they chose Cohesity, and the value they have derived. Read on to learn more about their experience.

Publish date: 04/28/17
Technology Validation

HPE StoreVirtual 3200: A Look at the Only Entry Array with Scale-out and Scale-up

Innovation in traditional external storage has recently taken a back seat to the current market darlings of All Flash Arrays and Software-defined Scale-out Storage. Can there be a better way to redesign the mainstream dual-controller array that has been a popular choice for entry-level shared storage for the last 20 years?  Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) claims the answer is a resounding Yes.

HPE StoreVirtual 3200 (SV3200) is a new entry storage device that leverages HPE’s StoreVirtual Software-defined Storage (SDS) technology combined with an innovative use of low-cost ARM-based controller technology found in high-end smartphones and tablets. This approach allows HPE to leverage StoreVirtual technology to create an entry array that is more cost effective than using the same software on a set of commodity X86 servers. Optimizing the cost/performance ratio using ARM technology instead of excessive power hungry processing and memory using X86 computers unleashes an attractive SDS product unmatched in affordability. For the first time, an entry storage device can both Scale-up and Scale-out efficiently and also have the additional flexibility to be compatible with a full complement of hyper-converged and composable infrastructure (based on the same StoreVirtual technology). This unique capability gives businesses the ultimate flexibility and investment protection as they transition to a modern infrastructure based on software-defined technologies. The SV3200 is ideal for SMB on-premises storage and enterprise remote office deployments. In the future, it will also enable low-cost capacity expansion for HPE’s Hyper Converged and Composable infrastructure offerings.

Taneja Group evaluated the HPE SV3200 to validate the fit as an entry storage device. Ease-of-use, advanced data services, and supportability were just some of the key attributes we validated with hands-on testing. What we found was that the SV3200 is an extremely easy-to-use device that can be managed by IT generalists. This simplicity is good news for both new customers that cannot afford dedicated administrators and also for those HPE customers that are already accustomed to managing multiple HPE products that adhere to the same HPE OneView infrastructure management paradigm. We also validated that the advanced data services of this entry array match that of the field proven enterprise StoreVirtual products already in the market. The SV3200 can support advanced features such as linear scale-out and multi-site stretch cluster capability that enables advanced business continuity techniques rarely found in storage products of this class. What we found is that HPE has raised the bar for entry arrays, and we strongly recommend businesses that are looking at either SDS technology or entry storage strongly consider HPE’s SV3200 as a product that has the flexibility to provide the best of both. A starting price at under $10,000 makes it very affordable to start using this easy, powerful, and flexible array. Give it a closer look.

Publish date: 04/11/17
Report

Cloud Object Storage for the Healthcare Data Blues

The healthcare industry continues to face tremendous cost challenges. The U.S. government estimates national health expenditures in the United States accounted for $3.2 trillion last year – nearly 18% of the country’s total GDP. There are many factors that drive up the cost of healthcare, such as the cost of new drug development and hospital readmissions. In addition, there’s compelling studies that show medical organizations will need to evolve their IT environment to curb healthcare costs and improve patient care in new ways, such as cloud-based healthcare models aimed at research community collaboration, coordinated care and remote healthcare delivery.

For example, Goldman Sachs recently predicted that the digital revolution can save $300 billion in spending in the healthcare sector by powering new patient options, such as home-based patient monitoring and patient self-management. Moreover, the most significant progress may come from a medical organization transforming their healthcare data infrastructure. Here’s why:

  • Advancements in digital medical imaging has resulted in an explosion of data that sits in  picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and vendor neutral archives (VNAs).
  • Patient care initiatives such as personalized medicine and genomics require storing, sharing and analyzing massive amounts of unstructured data.
  • Regulations such as the Health Insur­ance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require organizations to have policies for long term image retention and business continuity.

Unfortunately, traditional file storage approaches aren’t well-suited to manage vast amounts of unstructured data and present several barriers to modernizing healthcare infrastructure. A recent Taneja Group survey found the top three challenges to be:

  • Lack of flexibility: Traditional file storage appliances require dedicated hardware and don’t offer tight integration with collaborative cloud storage environments.
  • Poor utilization: Traditional file storage requires too much storage capacity for system fault tolerance, which reduces usable storage.
  • Inability to scale: Traditional storage solutions such as RAID-based arrays are gated by controllers and simply aren’t designed to easily expand to petabyte storage levels.

As a result, healthcare organizations are moving to object storage solutions that offer an architecture inherently designed for web scale storage environments. Specifically, object storage offers healthcare organizations the following advantages:

  • Simplified management, hardware independence and a choice of deployment options – private, public or hybrid cloud – lowers operational and hardware storage costs
  • Web-scale storage platform provides scale as needed and enables a pay as you go model
  • Efficient fault tolerance protects against site failures, node failures and multiple disk failures
  • Built in security protects against digital and physical breeches
Publish date: 03/22/17
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