3 Best Practices for Flash and Enterprise Applications

February 23, 2018 · steveverbanic · · Comments

We rely on enterprise applications for everything from lightning fast financial transactions and supply chain tracking to understanding our customers. Our user expectations are that applications will be up and running when they need them with minimal disruption to business. Flash storage is a critical component to meeting those expectations and aligning enterprise application performance, management, and growth with business priorities.

Data storage architecture is like the human heart. We don’t notice our heartbeats when everything is in working order. Yet when rhythms become erratic — it’s all we notice. Such is the burden of storage architects; to create an enterprise storage architecture that it goes unnoticed 99% of the time. As our usage demands higher data throughput and lower latencies, this is no simple task.

IT managers need to follow best practices for configuring a high-performance architecture for flash and enterprise applications. There are three main goals for a storage architect: application performance, ease of data management, and future scalability.

Here are three critical steps for building database storage architecture:

1. Test for application performance.

The only way to know the efficacy of your storage systems is to test. This is particularly important for business-critical applications that rely heavily on data.

Use SPC-1 simulations to determine performance for high-speed data applications. SPC-1 independently tests storage performance, including both speed and consistency. Results of SPC-1 testing provide information about how many I/O operations per second a given system can perform under maximum load.

2. Consider how the database and data-reliant applications will perform during performance spikes, downtime, and data corruption.

IT managers spend much of their time running from crisis to crisis, trying to manage periods of usage spikes, downtime, and the occasional data corruption. To ensure that your enterprise storage system can withstand the pressure, ask these critical questions:

  • How will you compensate for periods of performance spikes? Most organizations will experience periods of high usage, so give careful consideration to how your system will respond. There are several notable methods to deal with performance spikes, including tiering (which moves hot data to flash while evicting cold data), and even tiering entire applications into different storage tiers based on usage patterns. Flash storage facilitates this capacity.
  • How will scheduled downtime be handled? Top data storage systems provide an approach to non-disruptive operations (NDO) so that the impact on users is minimized.
  • If data corruption happens, how will the problem be dealt with? While obviously undesirable, data corruption doesn’t have to be disastrous. Top of the line enterprise storage systems allow DBAs to roll back to earlier copies of the database so that they can recapture data in its uncorrupted state.

3. Think about scalability in relation to long-term business plans.

Your business has plans for future growth. So should your data center. When formulating your database architecture, consider how easy it will be to scale in the future. Again, flash storage systems provide major advantages.

Following these best practices will help you to create a robust enterprise storage system. SLAIT Consulting has experience in helping companies deploy high-performance, flexible data storage solutions. Our experts will help you determine how to make the transition to flash storage with an eye on security and the intricacies of your unique infrastructure.