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Storage Stress Relief

This guest blog post is authored by Geoff Grice of Coal Management Company (CMC)

Corporate I.T. departments face an ever rising bar of expectations when it comes to services and applications.   The average business exec has very high standards set by the influx of high speed and flashy computer applications in their own home and their hand (smartphones and tablets).   These experiences cultivate an impatience, an ‘at the click of the button’ mentality that employees demand from business systems.

In order to meet these challenges, corporate I.T. departments often implement powerful virtualisation platforms. It is after all the easiest way to make sure that memory, compute, and storage capacities are delivered to the right area at the right time.  Consider for a moment though – Storage Capacity is one thing, but storage quality is a whole other ball game...

I.T. departments can fall into the classic trap of provisioning their virtual or cloud environment with high spec CPU, oodles of RAM, and vast reserves of storage only to find that their critical VDI project or reporting services are not delivering a consistent and swift user experience. What is the issue here? Bigger is better right?   

Wrong! Being bigger doesn’t necessarily solve the common problems The key metric to focus on is having low latency (i.e. quality, high speed storage performance). The difference between a sub 1-millisecond user experience and an average storage user experience is like sending people back in time to 1999. 

Ask yourself: would your business users accept the opportunity to make a coffee while they run their reports or do they want their data ‘Right now!’ Likewise, will they sit contently with a VDI experience similar to working across dial up modem or do they demand dual screen, multimedia performance while flicking between hundreds of spreadsheets, documents, and business applications at the touch of a button? We all know the answer to that question.

I know that Tintri VMstores use a VM optimised operating system designed with the sole purpose of delivering lighting fast storage performance. I could try to rattle on about how they achieve this technically, but as an existing customer I don’t really need to know how it works – I just know that it does work. There’s also a well optimised admin console, and practically zero admin overhead – now that’s what I call management! Outside of those things I know that my users’ reports run quickly, their desktops perform like high end laptops, and they’ve found a whole new raft of challenges to throw at me relating to business systems and things that can enhance the company’s profitability. That is a lot more interesting than managing storage. 

Infrastructure availability, performance, and elasticity are no longer concerns for them, or me. And so Tintri has helped us realise that elusive vision so coveted by I.T. departments the world around. When it’s time to tackle your next virtualization or cloud project, take my advice and don’t underestimate the important role of ‘high quality’ storage.

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