Keeping it Local with Lenovo’s Storage Range
As technologists, we are often guilty of overcomplicating many core concepts. Cloud computing is a good example — at its most basic level, the cloud just refers to computers that belong to someone else. We pay to use them, and usually, it feels easier on the wallet than buying a computer of our own.
Today, most businesses choose to transplant many applications and services that might traditionally have been run in-house to the cloud, usually for reasons that combine convenience, favoring OPEX over CAPEX expenditure and notions of reliability and security improvement, over what could be offered on-premises.
However, when we look at what the cloud offers in more detail, the apparent stampede to the cloud begins to look if not 100% anomalous, then at least short-sighted. In the financial side of the argument for and against cloud, many organizations do relish the short-term savings cloud compute and storage offer. However, regrets creep in when the data gets moved away from the big cloud suppliers’ facilities — the data egress bills are usually eye-watering. In short, the cloud operators would love your data, but if you want it back, then be prepared to dig deep into the coffers.
There’s also the assumption among many companies that somehow, security for cloud-hosted data is “taken care of.” Undoubtedly, the cloud providers protect their infrastructure from external threats, but not necessarily the precious resources that are stored there. Companies can end up paying for an extra layer of security, one that’s data-focused, in addition to the cloud company’s own more hardware-oriented measures.
This brings us back to the continued and thriving existence of on-premises storage hardware and software. Many organizations have realized the importance of retaining control of their own data — an action that equates to retaining control of the business in a data-centric world. Maintaining, installing, and supporting local storage is simple to achieve and (despite the claims of the big cloud providers) does not require massive resources upfront, nor in suitably qualified in-house IT support personnel over the longer term.
Retaining control of the business’s data requires some initial decisions as to what in-house data repositories might need to achieve, comprising decisions around archiving vs. production data vs. test data vs. database storage, and so forth. But thanks to modular design, hot-swappable drives, and built-in redundancy, on-premises storage is as elastic as cloud alternatives, but over time, is cheaper, more configurable for multiple use-cases, and significantly easier to protect.
At Tech HQ, we’ve been looking at some of Lenovo ISG’s (Infrastructure Solutions Group) hardware and supporting software designed for companies that need to retain critical information in-house for faster access and a smaller cyber-attack surface. In previous articles, we considered the EPYC processor-based server platform, especially effective for intensive workloads and attractively low licensing costs.
In the same vein, the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series storage arrays bring the hardware of the data center right into the organization, representing significant steps forward in security, control, and predictability of cost (no surprise bills for “overusing” the facilities). The initial choices of configuration (hybrid and all-flash models are available) will depend on predicted use cases but can be adapted quickly and easily over time. Configuration options include adding network cards, fiber connectivity, and hot-swappable disk arrays, creating a platform that’s effectively bespoke to the business’s needs.
We envisage companies using the DE Series range in significant numbers in head offices but also in edge environments in small clusters. Units are effectively up and running in around 10 minutes, being quickly assimilated into the XClarity dashboard, ready for any additional configuration centrally. For highly complex configs, internal IT teams can reach out to the excellent Lenovo Services team.
Administration is via the XClarity monitoring GUI, which shows resource use across the extended network and real-time monitoring of the entire Lenovo stack. It’s a powerful tool that helps organizations control their own data for archiving, live use, file-sharing secure storage of intellectual property. We would envisage companies using cheap cloud storage for cold storage (suitably compressed and encrypted), so retaining internal resources for everyday use.
You can read the impressive stats in Lenovo’s technical publications (DE2000H [hybrid], DE4000F [all-Flash]), but for companies wishing to balance power and capability with ease-of-use and low maintenance drain, the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series range of storage devices comes well recommended.
23 September 2021
23 September 2021