This is part two of the blog series on upgrading a hyperconverged or software-defined storage solution, where I’ll cover some questions to ask as you are assembling your true requirements for an upgrade. Part one covered the primary deployment models and some of the changes that have happened in the last few years, click here to go back to read that.

Are you considering migrating from an existing software-defined (SDS) or hyperconverged appliance (HCI) solution?  Have you decided where to go next?

Here are 5 questions that will get you on the road to making the right decision as to what SDS/HCI solution to migrate to.

Have you analysed today’s performance needs and the needs over the lifecycle of the solution?

Suggestion: Create requirements with your eyes wide open as to your actual needs – avoid the ‘new shiny toy’ syndrome and architect the system based on fact, not guesswork. Either do performance analysis yourself, or ask one of your technology partners to help.

Do you want a solution that meets your expected needs today and the future with limited need for additional hardware? Or do you want to plan for scaling hardware over time as required?

Suggestion: Many SDS/HCI solutions have the capability to very easily and simply scale by adding compute/storage nodes but can be expensive and over-provisioned. In most cases, you’ll be forced to add more storage or compute than you really need since they come as “bundle” as part of an appliance. Look for options that allow you to scale most flexibly at the lowest possible cost.

Are you deploying in your core datacenter or at the edge of your network and how easily can you support your IT at a remote location?

Suggestion: Supporting IT in the datacenter with resources close at hand is very different to supporting IT at remote sites and hard to get to places. If at the edge, ensure the solution is designed and tuned for these environments – ask about ease of installation, remote manageability and the requirements needed for the remote witness server (monitors data quorum and avoids split-brain).

Do you need a server-based SAN,hyperconverged infrastructure or both?

Suggestion: Not all solutions in the market can do both and there could be advantages for you if one solution handles both types. Having the flexibility to deploy a server SAN today (not running applications – just a big storage pool) and migrating to hyperconverged later could save a lot of money and headaches.

Can you squeeze more life out of your existing hardware?

Suggestion: Software-defined storage typically runs as a software appliance on a virtual machine. High performance servers that are 3-5 years old can likely be repurposed if you’re willing to build-your-own solution.

We are entering a brave new world of disruption as the market moves away from legacy 3-tiered architecture to hyperconverged infrastructure, software-defined storage and networking. There is tremendous choice in the market for IT professionals and we know that you have a hard job deciphering all the information out there and making the right choice for you organization.

With the right approach, organizations will never suffer buyer’s regret by entering the market with their eyes wide open.

Stay tuned for part three of this blog series to learn about our special offer that offers financial incentives to upgrade to a StorMagic solution.