Four Ways to Improve the Performance of Your Shared Storage Infrastructure

Perhaps you have invested a lot of resources in your storage infrastructure, and you need to make more out of it so that you can meet the needs of your business. Organizations have many options in which they can boost their storage performance. In fact, these options are available at all times at different prices.

Short Stroke

While short stroke isn’t as prevalent as it used to be, it helps organizations that rely on traditional hard disks to boost their performance. A conventional hard disk comprises numerous platters that come with both write and read heads that float on disk platters. The chances are that performance will drop when the write/read heads traverse the width of the disk platter. However, one can use short stroking to format the outer tracks of a hard disk so that the write/read heads don’t traverse the disk platter width. As a result, latency will decline, and the overall IOPS will improve. However, the tradeoff is that only a section of the capacity of the disk can be used. Consequently, much of the storage space go to waste.

Add Hardware

While adding more hardware to your current storage infrastructure can be expensive, it is a time-tested approach. It involves the addition of more equipment to the current high performance shared storage infrastructure. It is an effective way to end storage-related challenges.

Add Some Flash

Adding some solid-state storage is a great way to increase raw performance. Therefore, adding more storage to an existing storage infrastructure would improve the overall performance of a shared storage infrastructure. In short, organizations can leverage PCI-e-based solid state hard disks for this purpose. You can install PCI-e-based storage devices inside the server and use the SAN to configure them as a mega cache. A server is more likely to write and read data from a storage device quickly when it has enough cache at its disposal. Servers use ultra-fast cache to minimize cases of invariably slow writes and reads from the storage infrastructure. However, adding solid-state storage isn’t a low-cost option, though.

Software-Based Acceleration

Software vendors continue to build tools to help organizations solve their storage performance challenges. These software tools can carve a portion of the virtual environment RAM and redirect all I/O through the storage space RAM. You can repeat this process on each host to make it easier to pool the resulting memory across all the virtual hosts. That’s a great way to create a universal cache that any of the hosts can access. Many virtual environments often use the same data sets, and users can capture this data in the cache. That way, it’s easier to read this data from RAM instead of reading it from a traditional disk. Consequently, server users will gain an impressive performance at a relatively lower cost. It’s vital to note that software-based acceleration doesn’t work in every environment and it has some specific requirements. Nonetheless, it can be a low-cost way to revamp the performance of shared storage for users with the right virtual environment.