6 Server Trends Storage Admins Can't Ignore

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted Jan 26, 2011


There is a lot going on in the storage world, and plenty happening in the land of servers. And what affects one typically impacts the other. "Several trends are emerging in server-related storage to address performance, integration and ease of use, and provide the agility needed to plan for any type of application deployment," said Jimmy Daley, marketing manager for HP Industry Standard Servers.

1. Convergence of Storage Connectivity for Flexibility and Workload Optimization

What happens in the server market, typically doesn't stay in the server market and often has a direct impact on storage. Savvy storage admins will be keeping an eye on these six server trends.

Daley said server storage is moving to 6 Gb/sec SAS for performance, which provides a high-speed, low-latency connection for internal storage, as well as external expansion to very large configurations. It is also becoming the standard for the internal drive connection in dedicated storage systems.

"Connectivity to external shared storage is also changing, and many HP servers now ship with converged network adapters capitalizing on the shift over time toward IP-based networks," he said. "These trends are providing more flexibility in designing servers for multiple workloads. It is easy to optimize the number and type of internal drives for direct attached applications or those that require shared storage."

2. Media Flexibility

With SATA, SAS and SSD offerings available, servers can be optimized for more diverse application workloads. At the enterprise end of the market especially, server vendors are adding SSDs internally and to disk arrays.

"Most HP customers deploying solid state storage in their servers need high-read performance or low-latency solutions, or are currently over-provisioning spindles for performance," said Daley. "Most implementations have a solid state tier for acceleration with traditional media for data storage."

3. Convergence

As well as network convergence, there is a convergence of servers and storage occurring as a means of optimizing performance. This is seen in the marketplace under such banners as Cisco UCS and HP BladeSystem Matrix. The HP MDS 600, for example, is a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) for server storage expansion for HP BladeSystem or ProLiant servers that provides up to 140TB of Storage in 5U of rack space.

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