From Hindsight to Foresight: Make Storage Fire Drills History

From Hindsight to Foresight: Make Storage Fire Drills History

Posted in tech

Every storage admin has a war story or ten about evenings and weekends lost to fire drills. While many enterprises plan extensively and overprovision to avoid unexpected challenges, at some point, surprise successes or unfortunate system shortcomings create situations that just need to be fixed ASAP, no matter the hour.

The challenge behind many fire drills has been that we can’t really see what’s going on with data as it is in use. This creates a situation where we have to respond reactively to performance issues. For example, since we can’t monitor storage 24x7, we usually don’t find out about storage problems until problems begin affecting end users. While we can see the current resource utilization of a storage device, we often can’t tell what data is the source of resource contention. This makes troubleshooting problematic, and prevents us from taking a proactive approach to storage problems.

Flash has definitely emerged as one way to fix performance problems, but this is an all or nothing proposition—and throwing flash at all your data is a luxury few enterprises can afford.

Put Your Existing Storage to Work, Automagically

Data virtualization is a new way to automatically align your data to the right storage so that fire drills become history. Data virtualization unites all data, across all storage devices, within a single global dataspace, to provide comprehensive visibility into storage. In addition to increasing the breadth of visibility, it also increases the depth, collecting metadata within the dataspace to give IT insight into data access patterns. And you don’t need any new storage to make this work – it can happen simply by integrating the DataSphere platform with your existing infrastructure.

Once you can actually see how much data on each storage type is cold, hot, or somewhere in between, as well as what it’s costing you to have that data on that platform, you can automate data placement according to business needs, placing data on the lowest cost storage that meets your objectives.

For example, instead of running a fire drill to upgrade a hot database to new storage, you can assign performance, price and protection objectives to your data. DataSphere then non-disruptively moves data across other storage devices if resources become contended enough to cause your objectives to fall out of compliance. If you would like a demo to see objectives in action, just drop us a line at

The ability to automatically respond to global data insight finally enables IT to use analytics to react proactively with foresight. For example, based on historical data access, DataSphere can automatically move financial reports to fast storage for end of period processing, to mid-tier storage when it’s time for month- and quarter-end reporting, while automating the archival of data that is no longer being used after the period. With DataSphere, IT gets true agility that constantly evolves with business needs, and complete control over defining the objectives that best serve their enterprise. 

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