When you live in an older house, where the layout doesn’t really work for the way you live your life and there aren’t enough closets to satiate your wife’s shoe fetish, maybe it’s time to modernize! But do you knock the whole house down and start again? Maybe it’s tempting but, what about the investment that you’ve already made in your home? The bathroom you had refitted last year or the wiring you had redone? And where are you going to live during the whole inevitably elongated process?
It’s similar when you want to modernize your IT infrastructure: you have money sunk into your existing technology – probably still amortized for a year or two into the future – and you don’t want to face the disruption of completely starting again. We call this investment hangover ‘tech debt’.
For many companies, this debt includes a strategy for data storage that takes advantage of a shrinking per-gig cost of storage that enables them to keep everything. And that data is probably stored primarily on spinning disk with some high-availability workloads on flash in their primary data center. The old way of doing things was to see volumes of data growing and address that on a point basis with more spinning disk.
But, just like the house we mentioned earlier, data centers are bursting at the seams and it’s now time to modernize – but how?