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Understanding Scalability in Data Storage

7

MAY, 2018

In the business environments these days, companies are expected to grow quickly. This means that data storage or data centers should also grow equally. One of the words you hear in the IT environment when dealing with the data storage and data backup is Scalability.

In general scalability is defined in terms of future, investment and growth. It is the measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease in resources according to demands. It is somehow the same as the definition of scalability in IT industry but the structure is different. Let’s discuss scalability with respect to data storage and data backup.

What is Scalability?

Ability of a process, network, software or organization to grow and manage increased demands in a capable manner is Scalability. Scalable infrastructure is one that has the capability to add more computers or servers in a network in order to handle the increased workload. In order for a system to handle more workload volume you have two options either you add more storage space to the system or you need to add more systems.  Scalability can be further classified into two types: Vertical Scaling or Scale up and Horizontal scaling or Scale-out.

Vertical Scaling or Scale Up:                                             

Vertical Scaling means the addition of expansion units to your storage system. You can manage your growing data needs by adding more resources or disks to the existing infrastructure. Let’s say you want to increase the size of storage, you need additional disks to store more data for you. You simply add more disks within the fixed number of storage controllers; this is scaling up.

Horizontal Scaling or Scale Out:

Horizontal scaling means rather than adding more storage to an existing node; you can add more nodes. This results in increased performance capabilities and enables your infrastructure to accomplish more work in less time. Horizontal scaling increases efficiency within the single logical unit. In scale-out designs, capacity and performance grow throughout by adding more storage nodes to a networked system cluster.

However, unless you’re relying on an innovative solution like StoneFly’s scale-out NAS, horizontal scalability tends to be pretty complex and imposes management challenges.

Use Case of Scalability:

In order to understand scalability better, let’s say you are an IT administrator of a company and your company needs more data storage. Your IT infrastructure deals with big data because your company has a database configured to store and manage customer credentials for service provision. As the number of customers increase, you need additional resource integration without disruption or drastic infrastructure transformation. This is the perfect scenario for scalable solutions.

If you’ve already exhausted your existing infrastructure and scaling up isn’t an option, then you can scale-out and not only add more space but also more computation capacity. If you still have room in your existing infrastructure, then you can opt to scale-up your storage appliance and add more expansion units to accommodate the additional volume of data.

Where can you use Scalability?

Scalability is a desired attribute for storage, backup and disaster recovery appliances; and for cloud based storage, backup and DR.

StoneFly NAS and backup & DR appliances deliver enterprise level scalability services for yourrequirements.

Scalable Infrastructure Components

The infrastructure you have is more than just server and storage. Almost every component of your infrastructure can be scalable. There are four general areas where scalability can apply:

  • Disk I/O
  • Memory
  • Network I/O
  • CPU

Benefits of scalability:

Scalability is the concept which is essential for the people whose data storage demands are increasing. Let’s briefly discuss the benefits of scalability.

  • Future-proof Storage Architecture:

Scalability ensures that your acquired infrastructure can endure the data requirements of the future. Instead of revamping the entire infrastructure, you can expand the existing one and accommodate additional workload volume. With scalable infrastructure, you don’t have to worry about additional capacity requirements.

  • Cost-efficient:

Compared to legacy infrastructure, scalable infrastructure facilitates simplified expansion. You can allow your business to grow without making any expensive changes in the current setup. This reduces the cost implications of infrastructure growth. You can add more disks to the current system and increase the capacity or add more nodes and increase both capacity and performance.

  • Simple to use :

Scaling up or scaling out is simpler; you can add disks or storage controllers and the additional resources are available without any delay. However, management in scale out becomes difficult due to the additional resource integration.

Where can you find scalable solutions?

If you are searching for scalable solutions, StoneFly has your back. StoneFly’s innovative storage solutions are designed in a way that ensures you get the maximum performance and efficiency. Whether you are just starting out or you have a well-established company, we have the customized solutions that will suit your needs perfectly.

If you’re looking for a scalable NAS or a hyper-converged appliance or a backup and disaster recovery appliance, StoneFly will provide you solutions that are efficient, cost effective and easy to manage. These products are highly scalable and deliver optimized performance and reduced downtime.

You can contact us or leave your contact information and we’ll contact you to discuss your data requirements and relevant solutions.

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