Monday, November 25, 2019

Storinator Buying Guide, Part 2

The Storinator Buying Guide is available to help you determine what size Storinator you need for your data storage solution. In this part of the guide (part 2), we will discuss considerations to make based on your use case.

Note: As always, the best way to find an answer to any question you have during the purchasing process is by contacting a 45Drives account manager.

In this part of the guide we will talk about:
      The level of availability you require
      If you require clustering
      Which backup strategy you want to use
      What kind of RAM and processor upgrades you may need
      What speed networking to choose
      Which support package is right for you

What level of availability do you require?
Meaning, how long are you able to sustain server downtime? Occasionally servers will need to go offline for maintenance, upgrades, or if a failure occurs. You can add redundancy on the component level, this will keep the server online if a specific component fails. Always-available systems are more expensive to implement and usually saved for situations where they are absolutely required.

The most effective way to add redundancy is with clustering. With a 45Drives cluster solution, even if your whole server goes offline your data will still be available. Clustering is ideal for those who need high-availability.

Do I need to cluster?
Cluster isn’t for everyone and sometimes a single server is all you need. However, if you know you’re going to need more storage in the future – clustering will allow you to seamlessly grow your network storage pool long term. Clustering multiple servers together give some amazing benefits such as high-availability, unmatched performance, and data security. Clustering also offers incredible data resiliency, making it the first choice for those with data they can’t afford to lose.

For example, a security company dependent on cameras recording 24/7 for insurance purposes would require the level of availability and data security that a cluster could provide. If your use case involves mission-critical data, a clustered solution is your perfect solution. 

What kind of backup strategy will you implement?
As we’ve talked about in a past blog, redundancy and availability are not the same things. It is important to have a real backup strategy in place to deal with system corruption or natural disasters that may destroy your data past the point of recovery. Many different strategies serve as good backup solutions with varying results and different trade-offs between data loss, cost and recovery time. A few of the common strategies include:

Cloud Backup — Cloud backup is good for simplicity and low cost but requires a stable and fast internet connection for recovery. Cloud storage can also get expensive when you have large amounts of data. Although Cloud providers have a smaller start-up cost, monthly fees and download fees can easily add up over time.

Tape Backup – Tape backup is preferred by some due to being the lowest cost backup solution. However, recovery from tape is very long and has a high probability of failure compared to other methods. You will also require a strategy for transporting and storing the tape drives.

Server-to-server backup (or server-to-server replication) - This is the most robust backup solution with the quickest recovery time. You can configure a single Storinator or a cluster of multiple Storinators to replicate to a secondary location at specific intervals or in real-time. In the event of physical disasters, the data loss would be minimal and would be back online quickly. There is a risk with replicated configurations if viruses get replicated to both locations.

Are there resource-intensive applications you will be running directly off the Storinator?
If you plan on running data processing, big data, a high number of virtual machines or rendering video footage directly off the Storinator, you may want to consider upgrading or dual processors. For many applications such as archival storage, performance is more dependent on the amount of RAM than the speed of the processor. You will need to consider what aspect of the system is necessary for your company when deciding if/ what power upgrades are required. In general, it is better for your server to be underutilized than under-powered, but even the base models of the Storinator storage server is capable of many applications.

What networking speed should you be running?
Deciding what networking speed, you require will depend on how easily you will be able to saturate the connection. You should also consider your current network infrastructure and what speed networking it supports, as you may need to factor upgrading switches and cables into the cost of a NIC upgrade.  Often clients with multiple video editors working directly off their Storinator choose to upgrade their networking to at least 10GbE because it will easily be saturated. Fiber is also an option for those that want the fastest possible speeds. However, the infrastructure to support fiber is significantly more expensive than copper.

What support package should I choose?
This is a decision that depends on your administration teams’ level of experience with the software you want to run. Support packages are always available and there will be cost savings based on how many hours you purchase upfront. If your team needs help with routine procedures such as replacing failed drives, then purchasing some extra support to give yourself some headroom will give cost savings over time. Configuration options are also available so when you receive your Storinator all you will need to do is install the drives. Support time never expires, and we are always committed to making your Storinator operate as promised. For more information on support, check out our support page.

To sum it up, one of the Storinator’s biggest strengths is flexibility – if you have a data storage problem there is a Storinator configuration that will solve it!

As always, if you have any questions reach out to us! Our account managers are here to help you with all your questions, concerns, planning and to simplify the purchasing process for you. You can contact us here or by using our online chat tool found on our website.

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