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Multi-cloud storage, blockchain, NVMe garner reader attention

The multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud storage debate, blockchain storage struggles and NVMe misconceptions were our most-read tips in 2019. See where storage admins are focused for the year ahead.

Data storage options are continuing to expand, from software-defined storage to flash to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud storage. It can be hard to keep track of them all, and each type of storage comes with its own intricacies and challenges.

With tip articles, experts seek to give in-depth how-tos and overviews of different topics and help readers better understand familiar technologies and get to know new ones. If our most-read tips in 2019 are anything to go by, cloud storage options, NVMe and blockchain were major topics of interest.

NVMe storage drew plenty of attention, with readers flocking to articles correcting common misconceptions about the technology and facing off against challenges. Hybrid and multi-cloud storage had a big year, and an in-depth comparison of the two was our most-read tip overall. This should hardly come as a surprise, because cloud storage is a vast and still-evolving area of the storage landscape.

Both new and old storage questions arose in 2019, with readers seeking tips on dealing with the potential challenges of migrating data. Blockchain is a rising technology that is not immediately associated with data storage, so an overview of how it works and where it fits into storage was a strong contender in the top five.

Will these storage challenges and trends continue to garner interest in 2020? Only time will tell, but they certainly had a big year.

Hybrid cloud or multi-cloud storage?

By far our most-read tip in 2019 was the showdown between hybrid and multi-cloud storage strategies. Cloud has cemented itself in the data storage field, so it makes sense that deciding between cloud data storage options is a common interest.

So, which is the right choice? As with many storage decisions, whether you go the hybrid cloud or multiple-cloud storage route largely depends on your organization's needs and workloads. In this tip, John Edwards examines both cloud options in terms of performance, cost and management. If you're still stuck deciding between the two, give this article a look.

The blockchain storage challenge

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that, until recently, has been primarily used for cryptocurrencies. However, as new as blockchain storage may be, it is already growing in popularity. In this tip, Robert Sheldon breaks blockchain storage into six simple steps. While he acknowledges that integrating blockchain is an ongoing process, his brief list of steps and an included graphic provide a solid introduction to the topic.

Considering the relatively new concept of blockchain storage and the popularity of this tip, it is likely going to be a storage topic that expands in 2020.

NVMe part 1: Clearing up misconceptions

NVMe is an established storage protocol and is one area of data storage coverage that has numerous facets. These facets can also lead to numerous misunderstandings. In this tip, Edwards tackles seven common misconceptions about NVMe technology, clearing up mistaken beliefs about updates, expenses and whether the technology is even necessary when other technologies exist.

If you think you know everything about NVMe or want to fact check something you heard about the technology, it's worth it to take a look these seven myths.

NVMe part 2: Addressing performance challenges

Not to be outdone by other popular data storage options, the NVMe protocol took up two spots in our top five tips of the year. In this article, Marc Staimer addresses new challenges associated with NVMe performance, particularly the CPU chokepoint. Staimer goes in-depth, explaining what causes the chokepoint and how to handle the issue, taking into account costs, scaling and ease of implementation.

If you're looking to go beyond the basics and explore actionable options to resolve your NVMe performance woes, this tip addresses a problem that is difficult to solve, but, as Staimer points out, "it is solvable."

Keep your data migrations in check

In this popular tip, Staimer takes the complex and labor-intensive topic of SAN data migration and breaks it down into an organized checklist that can guide your organization through the process from start to finish. Made up of 43 separate tasks, according to data migration company SANpulse Technologies, SAN migration is no joke. In this tip, the 43 tasks are separated into six steps, making an intimidating process less daunting.

Along with the comprehensive how-to of the tip, this article also includes a free downloadable checklist to keep on hand.

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