Businesses and organizations run on data, making data storage a key factor of any successful business. Your organization’s data should be fast, accessible and available when you need it. That’s why more and more organizations are turning to clustered storage solutions.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the benefits of clustering your storage. But first, it’s important to mention that here at 45Drives, we power our clusters with Ceph. We’re not going to dive into Ceph in this blog, but if you want to learn more about Ceph specifically, check out this great blog or download our Digital Guide to Ceph Clustering—it’s completely free!

Now, let’s get started:

What is clustering?

Storage clustering links multiple servers using a unifying software layer (Ceph) to create one single storage system. Clustering has many benefits which may be critical to certain use cases. For many customers, storage clustering enables important features that are architecturally impossible with single server solutions.

Organizations often choose a clustered solution for its high availability, data security and scalability.

What is high availability?

Availability refers to how much uptime your storage system can maintain. Practically speaking, every storage system will not be 100% available. Single server solutions will need to come down for maintenance, usually performed during off hours like weekends or holidays and let’s face it—that can be a real pain to get people to come in. There will also be downtime if a failure occurs.

Ceph clusters provide very high availability due to their redundant nature. Ceph clusters can withstand server maintenance, component failure, and even full server failure. In addition, clusters provide reliability and stability for your organization’s data storage. Your organization’s efficiency is increased when your data is always easily accessible.

Data Security

The redundancy that fuels a cluster’s high availability also provides additional data security. Depending on your configuration, you’ll never lose any data, even if a whole server fails. Losing data is unacceptable for many organizations, which can help be prevented by Ceph clusters.

*Note: Redundancy can help prevent data loss from drive or server failure, but you should still have a backup plan in place.

Another aspect of data security is having control over your data. For example, if your data is on the cloud, you are handing it off to another company. Those terms and conditions you sign means that your data access can be revoked at any time. You always retain complete control over your data with a cluster or any on-prem storage solution. You control when, where, and how your data is accessed.

Scalability

Data needs are always growing. A storage system that can always rise to your growing data needs will save you headaches, time and money for the lifetime of your storage project. Single servers eventually fill up, putting you in a position where you need to add disparate systems to your network, which will increase the complexity of your architecture. The Cloud is scalable in theory, but the cost scale massively as your data scales.

Ceph clusters can scale anytime by adding more drives or servers, making them uniquely convenient. Clusters will also scale in performance as you add more nodes, making them extremely powerful and performant while future-proofing your organization’s data storage.

Easy

One of the less talked about aspects of storage clustering is its ease. Ceph is a well-thought-out, established technology that makes management a breeze. Not worrying about outages, data security, and scalability takes a lot of your admin team’s stress away.

And let’s not forget that 45Drives always has your back! We have experience administering thousands of clustered solutions and are always a phone call away. We’re here to guide and help you through any challenges you face throughout the lifetime of your storage projects.

To sum up, clustering provides significant architectural advantages regardless of how much data you currently have. People often think that companies that cluster their data have petabytes of storage, but that’s not the case. We have many customers clustering small data sets—because high availability, security, and scalability in their storage system is important to them. The fact that it’s easy to manage is really just the cherry on top!

If you have any questions about clustering or other solutions we offer, reach out to our team, we’re always here to help!

About The Author

Joe Milburn is an ice hockey enthusiast, amateur golfer, and part of the 45Drives Marketing Team. As a technical content specialist, he has written blogs, website material, technical resources, and other materials for 45Drives. He also writes, produces, and edits a portion of videos.

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