Hybrid Storage

Hybrid storage arrays that combine both flash storage and hard disks to provide high-performance storage at an affordable price to deliver the capacity and IOPS that a business needs to power their software applications, and that’s where hybrid storage comes into play.

Whether you’re a small start-up or an established enterprise, understanding how hybrid storage works can revolutionise the way you handle your data.

What is hybrid storage?

Hybrid storage is a cutting-edge approach to data storage that combines the best of both worlds: traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). It’s like having a powerful duo working in perfect harmony!

Now, you may be wondering, what makes this type of storage so special? Well, let me break it down for you. HDDs are known for their large capacity and affordable price point, making them ideal for storing vast amounts of data. On the other hand, SSDs are lightning-fast with impressive read/write speeds that can greatly enhance performance.

How does hybrid storage work?

Hybrid storage combines the best of both worlds – traditional on-premises storage and cloud-based solutions. It seamlessly integrates these two types of storage to optimise performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

At its core, hybrid is designed to leverage the strengths of each individual storage type. On-premises storage provides high-speed access to data and low latency, making it ideal for applications that require quick response times. On the other hand, cloud-based storage offers virtually unlimited capacity and flexibility for storing large amounts of data without the need for expensive hardware upgrades.

In a hybrid setup, frequently accessed data is stored on-premises in flash or solid-state drives (SSDs) for fast retrieval. Less frequently used or archival data is moved to the cloud where it can be stored more cost-effectively.

This dynamic tiering approach ensures that businesses can efficiently manage their data based on usage patterns while maximising performance and minimising costs. Data movement between on-premises and cloud environments is typically automated through intelligent software that analyses data usage patterns in real-time.

With hybrid systems, organisations have greater control over their data while taking advantage of the scalability and cost savings offered by the cloud. By combining different types of storages into one cohesive system, businesses can strike a balance between speed, reliability, scalability, and affordability – all tailored to meet their specific needs.

In addition to speed and affordability, another key benefit of this storage is improved reliability. With redundant backups created across different drive types, there’s less risk of complete data loss due to hardware failures or system crashes.

The benefits of hybrid storage

The benefits of hybrid arrays are numerous and can greatly enhance your data management capabilities.

One of the key advantages is increased flexibility. With hybrid arrays, you have the option to store some data on-premises and other data in the cloud. This allows you to optimise your storage strategy based on factors such as cost, performance, and security requirements.

Another benefit is improved scalability. Hybrid solutions offer the ability to easily scale up or down depending on your needs. As your data grows, you can seamlessly add more capacity without disrupting operations.

Hybrid storage arrays also provides enhanced disaster recovery capabilities. By having redundant copies of your data stored in different locations, you can quickly recover from any unexpected events such as hardware failures or natural disasters.

Additionally, hybrid offers improved performance by utilising a combination of local and remote resources. Frequently accessed data can be kept locally for fast retrieval while less frequently accessed data can be stored in the cloud for cost savings.

Hybrid arrays enables cost optimisation by allowing you to choose where to allocate resources based on usage patterns and budget constraints. You have greater control over how much storage is allocated on-premises versus in the cloud, resulting in potential cost savings.

Hybrid arrays bring together the best of both worlds – combining the advantages of local infrastructure with those offered by cloud-based services. It provides flexibility, scalability, disaster recovery capabilities, enhanced performance, and cost optimisation options that traditional storage methods may not offer.

How do hybrid storage arrays bring these two technologies together?

In simple terms, it uses an intelligent software layer that automatically determines which data should reside on SSDs and which should be stored on HDDs. This dynamic arrangement ensures frequently accessed files are stored on SSDs for quick retrieval while less frequently used data resides on HDDs.

The beauty of the storage lies in its ability to optimise performance without breaking the bank. By leveraging the cost-effectiveness of HDDs and the speed advantages of SSDs, businesses can achieve faster access times while keeping costs under control.

Hybrid Storage

Different hybrid types

Most hybrid storage arrays today consist of hard disks for capacity and SSD drives to deliver performance. Seagate manufacture a Hybrid SSHD drive that combines both of these elements and are primarily used in PC’s and games consoles. A hybrid system can be a JBOD combining both SSD and hard disks or a RAID system combining a RAID controller. The main issue when using flash storage as a cache or primary storage is that the RAID controllers are not designed to handle 10,000’s IOPS as they were originally developed to handle hard disks and many have firmware adapted to handle SSD. Many of the hybrid systems today are designed to scale for capacity by adding additional drive trays rather than increasing performance.

hybrid storage

All Flash vs Hybrid Flash

Comparing these is like a Ferrari vs Mini both transport people and that’s where it ends. All-flash is the Ferrari and Mini the hybrid flash.  All flash storage is designed to work directly using the system bus, processors and flash storage to deliver maximum IOPS.   Whereas a hybrid flash array delivers whilst not as fast as all flash storage delivers higher IOPS than a comparable hard disk array. Hybrid arrays are primarily designed for mixed workloads and all flash array for dedicated tasks such as running an Oracle or SQL database.

By using hybrid storage data is automatically migrated from the flash tier to the hard disk tier using software algorithms that track the data type and how often it is accessed. In addition, you can manually set certain applications to use just all flash or hard disk.  

Storage capacity

But many hybrid storage and all-flash arrays are using data deduplication to achieve far higher storage capacities in order to be more competitive in the storage arena. Deduplication is achieved by examining all of the blocks within a folder, disk volume or raid set and looks for block repetition, then removes duplicate blocks and then compresses the remaining blocks to create a hash # that references the location and quantity of the blocks for recall later. There are many different types of data deduplication source based, target based, inline, post, file, or block, fixed or variable length blocks but we are not discussing them here. Data deduplication requires powerful CPU’s and memory in order to rewrite the blocks and hash files. With increased processing power deduplication is becoming more prevalent in many mainstream storage systems and operating systems as costs come down.

How can we help?

Hybrid systems are a powerful solution that combines the best of both worlds – the performance of flash storage and the capacity of traditional disk-based storage. By intelligently tiering data based on its frequency of access, hybrid systems ensure that frequently accessed data resides in high-performance flash storage, while less frequently accessed data is stored on slower but more cost-effective disks.

In this article, we explored how hybrid storage works by leveraging intelligent algorithms to automatically move data between flash and disk tiers. This dynamic tiering allows businesses to optimise their storage infrastructure for both speed and cost-efficiency, resulting in improved application performance and reduced IT expenses.

The benefits of hybrid storage are numerous. With faster access speeds to frequently used data, businesses can experience significant improvements in application performance, leading to increased productivity and customer satisfaction. The ability to scale up or down as needed ensures flexibility without sacrificing performance or breaking budgets.

Furthermore, by combining flash and disk technologies into a single solution, hybrid arrays provide a seamless user experience without compromising on reliability or availability. Data redundancy measures are put in place to safeguard against hardware failures or disasters. In today’s fast-paced digital world where businesses rely heavily on fast and efficient access to their data, adopting hybrid storage can be a game-changer. It offers the perfect balance between speed, capacity, scalability, and affordability.

If you want to know more please contact us using the details below.

Fortuna Data
Smarter, Strategic, Thinking
Site designed and built using Oxygen Builder by Fortuna Data.
®2023 Fortuna Data – All Rights Reserved - Trading since 1994