By Reid Smith-Vaniz

Storage can easy become misconfigured even with the best of intentions. I was recently talking to a VMware system administrator of a large hospital, and I posed the question, “Is storage ever your bottleneck?” Here was his reply.

“Our storage is totally misconfigured. It’s all set up in RAID 5, in one big pool.”

He went on to tell me that he had bought an EMC VNX and when it was bought they had 100 virtual machines (VMs). Now they are at a place with 1000 VMs and the storage configuration simply won’t support it.

Now they are contemplating buying another EMC storage array to balance the workload since you can’t just convert the existing system to RAID 10, carve out separate RAID groups and call it a day. You have to have staging space OR a completely new system to move the load.  Buying another array is definitely an option, but so is renting an array.

By renting an EMC CLARiiON or EMC VNX for 3 – 6 months, one could move 100% of the workload off the VNX to the rental configuration, then reconfigure the existing setup and move the load back.

Swing or rental storage hardware is often used for data center moves, but the option is also available for repairing a storage configuration strategy that is no longer applicable.