Increase capacity and performance without a rip-and-replace approach

The rip-and-replace method doesn't have to be the only option for increasing storage capacity and performance in a legacy environment. In terms of cost and efficiency, upgrading an entire environment is rarely practical though sometimes it may seem easier to start with a blank slate. But there are some pragmatic technologies out there that can be added to existing environments to increase capacity and performance without having to invalidate hardware that's already in place.

Options such as adding more hard disk drives, flash cache appliances, cloud gateways and file virtualization are all technologies that can increase capacity and performance at a relatively low cost, while avoiding the rip-and-replace approach. Other methods such as installing flash PCI Express (PCIe) solid-state drives or implementing block storage virtualization also provide capacity and performance gains. But each approach has some drawbacks that need to be considered. If you're installing PCIe cards, for example, your performance will get a noticeable boost, but will its high price deter you? And while cloud storage provides infinite capacity, is it worth the tradeoff for performance that isn't on the same level as primary storage?

These questions and others are answered by Marc Staimer, founder of Dragon Slayer Consulting, in this video from TechTarget's 2012 seminar Storage Decisions Chicago. He weighs the pros and cons of six of these rip-and-replace alternatives and offers his insight as to which ones work best.

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