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3 minute readSystem Upgrade Series: When is the Right Time to Upgrade Your Array?

Today, we are beginning a series about System Upgrades. We will revist this topic from time to time, but keep an eye out this week for more posts about upgrading your system! But, for today, we are going to talk about knowing the right time to upgrade your system.

Knowing the Right Time to Upgrade

You can make several cases to upgrade your storage array. One case, for example, is the SP utilization of your storage array. If both SPs are pushing utilization of 50% or more, than there really isn’t that much you can do or add to that system to squeeze out and more I/Os. From a CPU perspective, even if you were to add more drives to the system, the system is pretty much at its max.

Can You Forecast CPU Utilization?

Normally,when you’re architecting an environment, your vendors such as Microsoft,Oracle, and VMware will tell you your basic IOPS requirements for the environment that you are about to deploy. However, what they don’t tell you is how many CPU cycles this is going to used up in your storage array and you can’t really forecast CPUs utilization.

What you can do is determine how many IOPS you can provision on a specific storage array so you can know how to scale out that environment. For example, let’s sayyou need an environment that has 10,000 IOPS. You can architect your storage array to be able to handle that many IOPs based on the amount of spindles that you have in your system and on what type of drive it is sitting.

Understanding the Limits of Your Array

The best way to truly understand the limits of your storage array or storage subsystem is to have powerful monitoring tools or some of the integrated tools that are included with your system. These tools can help you keep up a regular cadence of measuring how your system is doing and what changes you can make to the system to tweak it and make sure that it will continue to run well.

With EMC systems and devices, they come with what is called Navisphere Analyzer or Unisphere Performance Analyzer. EMC devices, for example, come with what’s called Navisphere Analyzer for CLARiiON systems or Unisphere Performance Analyzer for VMAX and VNX. These performance analyzers are key tools to have when you’re really trying to understand the performance needs of your environment.

Next Steps

If you believe your array has reached its limit, reach out to us and we will be happy to talk with you about what solutions you may need to empower you at your organization. One initial step is through Reliant’s Discovery Process, a key feature of the Reliant Advantage, that will help you get the right solution the first time. 

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.