Storinator Buying Guide, Part 2
The Storinator Buying Guide is available to help you determine what size Storinator you need for your data storage solution. In this part of the guide (part 2), we will discuss considerations to make based on your use case.
Note: As always, the best way to find an answer to any question you have during the purchasing process is by contacting a 45Drives account manager.
In this part of the guide we will talk about:
- The level of availability you require
- If you require clustering
- Which backup strategy do you want to use
- What kind of RAM and processor upgrades you may need
- What speed networking to choose
- Which support package is right for you
If you haven’t read part 1 of the Storiantor Buying Guide, you can find it here.
What level of availability do you require?
Meaning, how long are you able to sustain server downtime? Occasionally servers will need to go offline for maintenance, upgrades, or a failure. You can add redundancy on the component level, keeping the server online if a specific component fails. Always-available systems are more expensive to implement and usually saved for situations where they are required.
The most effective way to add redundancy is with clustering. With a 45Drives cluster solution, your data will still be available even if your whole server goes offline. Clustering is ideal for those who need high availability.
Do I need to cluster?
Cluster isn’t for everyone, and sometimes a single server is all you need. However, if you know you’re going to need more storage in the future – clustering will allow you to grow your network storage pool long-term seamlessly. In addition, clustering multiple servers together gives amazing benefits such as high availability, unmatched performance, and data security. Clustering also offers incredible data resiliency, making it the first choice for those with data they can’t afford to lose.
For example, a security company dependent on cameras recording 24/7 for insurance purposes would require the level of availability and data security that a cluster could provide. A clustered solution is your perfect solution if your use case involves mission-critical data.
What kind of backup strategy will you implement?
As discussed in a past blog, redundancy and availability are different. Therefore, it is important to have a real backup strategy to deal with system corruption or natural disasters that may destroy your data past the point of recovery. Many strategies serve as good backup solutions with varying results and tradeoffs between data loss, cost, and recovery time. A few of the common strategies include:
Cloud Backup — Cloud backup is good for simplicity and low cost but requires a stable and fast internet connection for recovery. Cloud storage can also get expensive when you have large amounts of data. Although Cloud providers have a smaller start-up cost, monthly fees and download fees can easily add up over time.
Tape Backup – Some prefer tape backup due to the lowest cost backup solution. However, recovery from tape is very long and has a high probability of failure compared to other methods. You will also require a strategy for transporting and storing the tape drives.
Server-to-server backup (or server-to-server replication) is the most robust backup solution with the quickest recovery time. You can configure a single Storinator or a cluster of multiple Storinators to replicate to a secondary location at specific intervals or in real-time. With physical disasters, the data loss would be minimal and back online quickly. However, there is a risk with replicated configurations if viruses get replicated to both locations.
Are there resource-intensive applications you will be running directly off the Storinator?
Suppose you plan to run data processing, big data, a high number of virtual machines, or render video footage directly off the Storinator. In that case, you may want to consider upgrading or dual processors. For many applications such as archival storage, performance is more dependent on the amount of RAM than the processor’s speed. You will need to consider what aspect of the system is necessary for your company when deciding if/ what power upgrades are required. In general, your server should be underutilized than under-powered, but even the base models of the Storinator storage server are capable of many applications.
What networking speed should you be running?
Deciding what networking speed you require will depend on how easily you will saturate the connection. It would help if you also considered your current network infrastructure and what speed networking it supports, as you may need to factor upgrading switches and cables into the cost of a NIC upgrade. Often clients with multiple video editors working directly off their Storinator choose to upgrade their networking to at least 10GbE because it will easily be saturated. Fiber is also an option for those that want the fastest possible speeds. However, the infrastructure to support fiber is significantly more expensive than copper.
What support package should I choose?
This decision depends on your administration teams’ level of experience with the software you want to run. Support packages are always available, and there will be cost savings based on how many hours you purchase upfront. If your team needs help with routine procedures such as replacing failed drives, then purchasing some extra support to give yourself some headroom will give cost savings over time. Configuration options are also available, so you will need to install the drives when you receive your Storinator. Support time never expires, and we are always committed to making your Storinator operate as promised. For more support information, check out our support page.
To sum it up, one of Storinator’s biggest strengths is flexibility – if you have a data storage problem, a Storinator configuration will solve it!
As always, if you have any questions, reach out to us! Our account managers are here to help you with all your questions, concerns, and planning. They are also here to simplify the purchasing process for you.