The performance of storage arrays can be improved by using a high-quality management system to keep track of capacity, errors, and trends. In this guide, I discuss the basics of storage arrays in UAE, including what they are, how they work, common setups of data centers, and how monitoring tools can help improve array performance. I also review the key features of several of these top solutions, and explain why Storage Resource Monitor is my best pick for 2020 due to its unified management system, performance optimization capabilities, and storage capacity forecasting features.
How Do Storage Arrays Work?
Storage arrays keep storage separate from servers using a collection of hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs). In some cases, they use a combination of both so they can scale much more efficiently than the storage capacity of a collection of servers.
HDD storage arrays, or disk arrays, are commonly used in business environments for storage purposes and have excellent redundancy features to help protect data. For example, redundant arrays of independent disks (RAID) controllers are used to make copies of the same data across multiple hard disks. This protects the data from loss if one of the disks fails, as all the backup copies are still available.
An SSD storage array from a refurbished marketplace in UAE, also called a flash storage array, has the same basic storage array architecture as an HDD array but will operate much faster. However, HDDs are cheaper, so they’re sometimes used in combination.
Storage arrays are a critical part to storage networks, allowing the storage functions of the network to be completely separated from the LAN or WAN connecting all the devices within an organization. Disk array storage separates the network transmission and connection functions from the data storage functions and allows stored data to be accessed by multiple servers at the same time. This means servers across a business can all access data from the same storage array.
What Is a Data Server?
A data server, also known as a database server, is the underlying back-end hardware dedicated to providing the services necessary for supporting one or more database management systems. These services include tasks like storing, archiving, processing, analyzing, and ensuring security for data—generally all tasks not specific to end users. The data server also ensures data is accessible for the correct clients, based on the client/server architecture of the database application.
The server can accommodate large amounts of data in a range of formats—relational databases, non-relational databases, and even flat files. The DBMS is installed on the data server, and other systems can then access the data. However, from an IT perspective, the term “data server” isn’t always precise—it can refer to hardware, the software platform, or a combination of the two. As software, the data server may be considered an “instance.”
What Does Modern Data Center Architecture Look Like?
Datacenter storage systems have evolved over time, and these days, as speed and flexibility become increasingly important, many companies rely on a mix of physical and virtual infrastructures, like hybrid clouds. Before all-flash arrays and virtualization, data storage relied on hard storage disks receiving I/O requests. To understand modern data center architecture, it’s important to first understand typical modern storage systems in general.
A few types of data storages allow differing amounts of access and scalability. It’s important for the architecture to be non-blocking, allowing simultaneous requests without queuing. A storage subsystem consists of several components—host adapters, device adapters, the cache, and processors—and the communications architecture connects these parts:
Bus architecture allows access for only one device at a time. It’s simple and cheap, but difficult to scale. Switch architecture allows components to be attached to switches by links, with up to 64 connections on each side of the switch. Most large storage subsystems use this form
Matrix architecture links components with each other component it needs to talk to, creating a web of connections and allowing the system to easily scale
More and more often, data center storage models also rely on virtualization, which helps with the consolidation of storage and servers. Essentially data center virtualization consolidates physical servers to virtual machines, and virtual machines are connected to a L2 virtual access layer. Incorporating storage access for the VMs means consolidating storage area networks (which allow for centralized, all-flash storage, with lower latency) as well as network-attached storage. While these are legacy forms of storage, they’ve evolved to now work more effectively with modern data storage models.