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Secondary Flash Field Guide


How to Identify Secondary StorageSFA-FieldGuide.png

Veteran storage admins will have no problem identifying and understanding Secondary Storage.  They’re not confused by some classic computer science definition that distinguishes system RAM attached to CPU vs. nonvolatile disk storage, etc.  Here we’re referencing the colloquial distinction of the class of data storage used for more inactive data.

As an industry, we’re pretty obsessed with Primary storage: the systems housing the more transactional data associated with top tier applications: Databases.  ERP systems.  Financials and General Ledger systems.  In contrast, Secondary storage is a distinct tier of storage living beneath that very active Primary tier and extending down towards the ‘cold storage’ or Archive tier.  Typical uses include Data Protection as well as less business-critical tasks like Dev/Test, QA, and Analytics.  Secondary storage is typically less expensive, less performant, has fewer features, lower availability characteristics, and is often more scale-oriented, than Primary. 

The nature of Secondary storage is evolving though.  One example is in the area of Data Backup.  Traditionally, it was sufficient to have storage that could ingest and retain backup data relatively quickly and cheaply. The need to restore data was rare and it didn’t matter if it was slow. And there was no expectation to be able to actually access the stored data for anything other than those infrequent times when a file was lost or a power surge wrecked a system. But companies Are now looking to restore data faster. And access backup data to use for testing or analytics. And get multiple uses out of previously single-use devices. And streamline and simplify any and all on-premise IT infrastructure investments.

Field Markings of Modern Secondary Storage

The trademark of today’s Secondary Storage system is its ability to let you put your backup data to work.  There are at least three traits that can be easily identified:

  1. Flash Storage enabled – Secondary Storage includes a mix of Flash SSDs that help ensure fast data access, whether to recover information, or to enable the use of the data directly from the storage system, at near-Primary Storage speed.
  2. Capacity Optimized – The system provides significant data reduction capabilities to maximize the data capacity and keep the effective cost of the system low. Also the data reduction is an inline feature, rather than a post-process that requires twice as much capacity to make it work.
  3. IoT Connected intelligence – Secondary Storage has built in sensors connected back to a machine learning-enabled predictive analytics capability that anticipates and prevents issues for trouble-free operations.

The Nimble Secondary Flash ArraySFA-Icon-V.png

The Nimble Secondary Flash Array is shipping this month, and is an industry-first, effectively using Flash storage to create a data backup platform that lets companies do real work with their backup.  The Secondary Flash array will also be delivered as part of an integrated data protection solution with Veeam.

The Nimble Secondary Flash Array (SFA) is optimized for both Capacity and Performance. It adds high performance flash storage to a capacity-optimized storage architecture for a unique data backup platform — it’s one device optimized for multiple uses: data backup, Disaster Recovery, local archiving, as well as secondary data storage uses such as Dev/Test, QA and Analytics. Users can instantly backup and recover data from any primary storage system, and with our integration with Veeam and other leading data protection software, it simplifies data lifecycle management and provides a path to cloud storage. As part of the Nimble Storage product line, it comes with InfoSight Predictive Analytics that enable 99.9999% availability across more than 10,000 deployed storage systems.

Where to Find a Secondary Storage Array

The new Nimble Secondary Flash Array will be taking residence within leading IT resellers around the globe this month.  The SFA is going to change the nature of Secondary Storage by helping IT put its backup data to work.  More information about the SFA and the joint solution with Veeam is available through the new Secondary Flash Array webpages on NimbleStorage.com.

Mike Harding | Products and Solutions Marketing
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
P: 408-514-3243
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