Two weeks ago at EMCWorld, Josh Goldstein, Marketing and VP of Product Management for Extreme IO was on the Wikibon/SiliconAngle #theCube talking about the value of Copy Data Management for all flash systems. Listen to what Josh had to say here (this video has been cut down to the important copy data management segments):
Data deduplication is about how many bits per square inch can be stored to represent as much data as possible. However, flash is really about how many users can leverage the same storage (not necessarily the same data, but storage). Copy data management allows IT to create a ‘copy’ of production data on the flash storage that can be leveraged by many different people for multiple use case. The hot use cases that are being discussed on flash storage, pointed out in the video by Wikibon/SiliconAngle, are DevOps and Analytics. Because flash has no real limit on the number of uses that can access it before it causes a performance issue, and because snapshots take up very little space, IT can create multiple snapshots on flash storage that can be leveraged by multiple developers in a true DevOps scenario. Snaps of the latest production data can be made, development organizations can build against that copy and the data can then be promoted into production. This ensures more accurate code, being developed faster, driving a more competitive advantage for the business.
The same logic applies for analytics. A copy of production data can be snapped for multiple groups in the company such as Sales, Marketing or Finance and they can each run there specific analysis against the latest data set. Doing so ensures more accurate, real-time results.
Copy data management helps to drive a better ROFI (return on your flash investment) from a capital expense allowing you to have more users access the flash storage for important business operations. In addition, automation and orchestration to the mix helps to not only ensure repeatability and ensure that the freshest data is available to the users that need it as often as you can take a snapshot. It also frees up expensive IT resources to work on more strategic projects lowering overall OpEx.
Also, if it isn’t clear, the ability to lever the data ON THE FLASH IT SITS ON is key. Moving data is the most expensive thing to do in the enterprise (yes, even if your just moving snap data). The ability to automate and orchestrate snaps of the latest production data IN PLACE ensures you are keeping the CapEx as low as possible. Bringing in another platform to do DevOps or Analytics by taking data out of the production environment adds unnecessary expense and drives up the costs of the original flash platform lowering the overall ROFI.
If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to flash, it is important to look for a copy data management platform that can leverage your existing infrastructure. This means its software only. This will help to keep your costs low when it comes to both CapEx as well as OpEx.