Mid-range vs. Enterprise Storage: Is Size All that Matters?

10-8-15_ST_Blog_ImageWe often hear small and mid-sized organizations talking about how management constantly urges them to “do more with less.” Keeping competitive requires them to squeeze all they can out of their infrastructure, and their staff. ESG research bears this out; respondents chose cost reduction as one of the business initiatives that will drive the most technology spending at their organizations this year, appearing second on the list, only bested by strengthening cybersecurity.

But while these companies may face smaller budgets, they have the same needs as large enterprises—if not more so—for high performance, availability, data reduction, and other capabilities. So, they look for “mid-range” storage solutions to meet their budget objectives. You’d expect these arrays to provide less functionality than enterprise-class arrays, to keep costs down and make them easier for multi-tasking IT staff to manage. And they do. But what passes for mid-range storage today is pretty amazing. Mid-range storage is commonly used to run mission-critical workloads, and it’s pretty much “table stakes” now to provide features like fast performance, data reduction, and flash drives.

Here are a couple of examples from ESG Technical Validation projects.

  • Dell EMC’s Unity Series arrays have a single, software-included price, so buying is easy. So is set-up: we racked it and had it working in 25 minutes, 10 of which were power-up time. New dynamic storage pools, snapshots and thin clones, a cloud storage tier, and CloudIQ storage analytics are all so simple to manage I could do most of them myself with no training.
  • Dell EMC’s SC Series, with its recently improved hardware (faster, bigger), offers similar features, plus live data migration and automatic data progression. And, both Unity and SC Series integrate with other Dell EMC solutions like PowerPath, ViPR, VPLEX, Recover Point, and Data Domain.
  • Pure Storage arrays offer both predictive and performance analytics, and now offer automatic synchronous replication, so in case of a problem workloads just continue uninterrupted. No human intervention, no specialized training for admins, and no additional charge.

Think “mid-range storage” is just cheap and low featured? Think again! Other mid-range solutions from HPE, IBM, Hitachi Vantara, NetApp, Lenovo, Huawei, and others have also been making great strides.

And, if you want to read more about these storage solutions, check the vendor or ESG website.

Topics: Storage ESG Validation Services