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What is Scale-out?

Scale-out storage is an architecture using network-attached storage (NAS), which allows storage and processing power to be expanded simply by purchasing additional storage arrays. By adding and connecting different storage components to all-flash arrays, scale-out storage means more room for more data, applications, software, and other information with their own supporting resources through NAS. To expand your storage footprint, you need scale-out storage that scales reliably and reasonably.

The problem scale-out storage solves

In the days before scale-out storage became popular, businesses that needed more storage space were forced to purchase storage arrays with capacities far larger than what they required. That meant if companies did not grow at the rates they may have predicted, they would be stuck with large arrays that might remain unused for years—or forever.NAS-enabled scale-out makes it much easier and more financially practical to add the storage an enterprise needs without having to commit to enormous quantities of storage long before they're ready to use it.

The difference between scaling up and scaling out

Because legacy NAS architecture only allows additional upgrades by adding entire additional systems, it’s often referred to as scaling up instead of scaling out. Scale-up systems include one or two controllers, which only have predetermined numbers of drive slots and amounts of CPU and memory. And because system resources don’t scale automatically with additional storage, end users can only add additional performance with additional systems.

What's more, when NAS architectures that have been scaled up rather than out no longer have the space, memory, or capacity for new data, they can easily become volatile, lose stored information, and become poor performers. The only logical next step for a business posed with this challenge is to reconfigure a storage setup that is scaled out rather than up.

Old versus new: how vertical scaling out was outmoded by horizontal scaling

As discussed above in scaling up rather than out, scalability was once done by literally adding additional separately managed systems to the actual NAS storage system, vertically. But while scale-out improves the situation by allowing end users to expand via just arrays with their own resources, cabling can still be an issue. End users still need to make sure they have enough rack space for additional arrays, and deal with sprawling cable labyrinths when they need to add another array. Still, it’s an improvement on scaling up—especially when vendors like Tintri offer scale-out in a federated pool of storage.

Tintri makes scalable storage easy, optimized and virtual

With almost any enterprise-sized venture, growth is a part of what we all want to happen—but preparation for this growth means you have to have scalability on-hand whenever it’s needed. Tintri Enterprise Cloud offers virtual machine (VM) storage beginning as low as 17 terabytes that can scale up to as much as 40 petabytes (PB). And because Tintri treats its storage arrays as a loosely coupled federated pool of storage, adding an array to your infrastructure is as simple as just adding another array: no cabling required.

If your enterprise is booming at a starting point of around 20 TB, it probably won't be long before you start heading toward PB territory, which means legacy and conventional storage methods are not going to work for you, and will cause major issues with latency, outages, redundancy and more.

With Tintri's Scale-Out Storage, predictive and real-time storage analytics will help you determine how much growth you can expect in the coming hours, days, weeks, and so on. And, most attractive of all, with Tintri, there's no need for any customized hardware to add to your storage system. Both your current and future storage needs will be met with application-aware all-flash array storage from Tintri, so go ahead and thrive as fast as you can.

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