Your cart is empty!
Vibrant Technologies buys and sells used Data Storage Hardware for all major brands. We carry SANs, NAS, direct attach mass storage, tape libraries, switches and HBAs and more and also purchase your used hardware.
Request a quote for assistance or to sell us your excess equipment or contact us with any questions.
Xiotech Rackmount Storage Device
Whether you run a large corporation or a small business that uses a lot of data, overlooking proper storage for that data now can result in severe problems down the line. Insufficient data storage space or access can disrupt the speed of your entire business, not just the data retrieval systems. When this essential function is delayed, employees, customers, and clients are all held up. In today’s fast-paced market, even a short delay can cause a customer to look elsewhere for a product or service. The storage offered by Vibrant is dubbed “enterprise” because these solutions are designed to help small to large business enterprises that deal in or with large amounts of critical data to run more smoothly.
Having enough room to store huge amounts of data takes special equipment. Unlike an individual or very small business, who may be able to get by with commercial systems, any company that has more than a few dozen employees officially has big data and needs to have the proper equipment to handle, share, transfer, and accept the sheer amount of data that it takes to run their business day to day. Enterprise data hardware systems come in many different varieties, and it can be daunting to determine which kind is right for you and your organization until you have information on the background, pros, cons, features and benefits of each type of IT storage equipment.
SAN, NAS and DAS Storage
The three most elementary types of storage are direct attached storage (DAS), storage area network (SAN), and network attached storage (NAS). While DAS is the basis of every stable storage system, NAS is the highest level appliance, and can be layered on top of a DAS or SAN system.
Direct Attached Storage
With humble beginnings as external JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disk), modern attached storage is more intelligent and can even share data across more than one system, in a daisy chain or via wireless or cloud networks. Nonetheless, DAS is still storage attached directly to your hardware systems via cabling or possibly by wireless pathways.
No matter how much SAN or NAS you have, the final performance of your storage system is going to depend directly on your direct attached storage, as both are built upon it. Because your DAS can only be used by its host computer, unless other computers are connected to it over the SAN or NAS, it is also the safest base for storage available due to its predominant nature as a local IT storage options..
There are many different ways your company can build out a DAS system. The first interface to consider is
SCSI (small computer system interface), which consists of several smaller computers linked to a server by an electronic interface. This allows a number of systems to share the burden of the data and allows for fairly fast retrieval. These systems are also already commonly utilized in corporate environments, as they can be used to link many computers up to one printer, scanner, drive or other device.
The current version of SCSI is Ultra-320, which can run up to 320 megabytes per second. While these systems still have popularity in some offices, most are looking for faster storage systems. With more than a few computers hooked up to the direct attached storage, there will be significant lag when searching for and delivering data, as the total access is 320 megabytes. With more than three of four computers making requests, the lines quickly become clogged.
Parallel advanced technology attachment, or PATA, has been popular until recently, before more advanced technology took over. Some enterprise storage systems, especially older or inexpensive models, still utilize PATA, but most have moved on toSATA (more on that below). In this system, each connector can provide support for two devices, however, users see a significant lag in performance. The size of the connector itself is extremely large and can block the storage equipment’s cooling systems, further slowing down an already compromised network.
PATA’s successor is serial advanced technology attachment, or
SATA. In the two evolutions of SATA, the system can interface either 150 or 300 megabytes, and because it doesn’t allow connectors to be shared among devices, there are no performance problems. Many IT organizations will actually choose a SCSI storage environment over SATA, because even though SATA may theoretically have better performance – it only allows a maximum of eight devices. The SCSI option however, can support up to fifteen. It is a much more compact piece of hardware, however, with a better design for proper cooling. Often, corporations that deal in big data will link up many servers with SATA drives in order to obtain the amount of storage they are looking for.
Serial attached SCSI (SAS) is the newest/hottest storage interface trend. As a combination of SATA and SCSI technologies, it uses the same commands and functions as SCSI, but has the hardware of SATA. This means that you can still use a SAS system to link up computers and printers, as well as increase their storage capacity. Data speeds run from 185 MBs to 750 MBS, with 1500 MBs on the horizon. The three previous types of storage are now used mainly in linking up personal computers. SAS however, is now widely used in corporations that have high-end storage needs.
Outside of SAS, there are a few smaller, less used storage interfaces on the market. These include fiber channel (FC), flash memory, and random access memory (RAM). FC is mainly used in very high level storage hardware. Flash itself isn’t storage, but it helps storage systems reduce retrieval lag. RAM is also not typically seen as storage, but it can be adapted into very fast storage hardware. Most companies shy away from RAM drives, however, because they are very expensive. Most businesses have to weigh the cost of this medium against their actual data center storage needs.
Storage Area Network Hardware for sale
Once the DAS in place, most IT Managers and CIOs next opt for expanding their data storage with a SAN (Storage Area Network). Surprisingly, at the base of it, a SAN doesn’t allow more than one computer to access a given storage block, it does allow one server to give up control of the storage in order for another to access it. This schema provides added high availability for your storage pool, as it allows multiple servers to have access to your storage, so in the event that one server goes down, others can still continue working.
Fiber channel is the most common form of SAN interface, and allows storage to be attached directly to the server. Fewer systems opt for this technology at a native level, as it limits the server to one channel, making it difficult to switch servers in the event of a failure. To mitigate this risk, most people use a FC (Fibre Channel) switch. These can run in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, and therefore are a good option for larger corporations who need fast, reliable storage access, but now it is also more affordable for anyone due to our used fiber channel switch offerings.
The best alternative businesses have to Fibre is
iSCSI Data Storage, which is gaining in popularity as it is less expensive and easier for the IT newbie to setup and manage. Most IT professionals are familiar with iSCSI switches, which are cheap, easy to install, and easy to maintain. These switches also have numerous contingency plans in case a server fails. With the ability to connect many computers and servers, it has to potential to present a very fast, widespread storage network, ideal for most companies. Experts find that the only downside to this system is the inability to cheaply store and access very high amounts of data, which will require additional hardware.
iSCSI targets come in two different forms, the first being hardware storage, which interfaces with the iSCSI protocol, and the second, which is software you can add to your server. This paradigm allows you to build storage on almost any operating system, many of which support open-source software, or have low-cost commercial alternatives. The servers set up with this kind of software play double duty, acting both as the storage unit and as the network that allows access to the storage.
An even less expensive solution comes in the form of
ATA over Ethernet, or AoE, which operates on the Ethernet exchange and uses far less CPU and no adaptors to allow for access to the storage. In comparison to costly options like FC and iSCSI, AoE is a much better choice for companies that need enterprise data storage, but do not want to pay the high prices for specialized hardware. The best part about AoE is that it can be implemented in conjunction with any other storage system, maximizing usage and performance for both systems.
Network Attached Storage
NAS is the final layer of storage technology, which must sit on top of a SAN or DAS. Essentially, a NAS is a server or storage “appliance” that is completely dedicated to storing files. They usually have pared down OS and systems that provided compatibility to whatever OS your devices uses. NAS systems are preferred by companies that want more than one client to share the data storage, however, some find that a NAS will not interface with some of their necessary applications.
The leader in NAS for years has been NetApp or Network Appliance, but many other vendors have gained market share to make this space more competitive than ever. Hitachi, EMC, IBM and Dell are among the manufacturers competing with excellent NAS storage hardware for your enterprise data storage needs.
How to Find the Right Hardware
If your company employs a number of data storage experts, you can build your own storage system from the ground up, using the best parts of each system in order to create the highest performing storage network. If you do not have employees who can create a customized system, you likely will have to choose a piece of hardware that best fits your storage needs and create whatever interfacing network that best meshes with that hardware.
EMC, NetAPP, Dell Equallogic / Compellent, HDS, Oracle and IBM System Storage are all equipped with the necessary data requirements to make them useful to companies that need plenty of storage space. It can be daunting to try and find the right hardware, especially if you are not familiar with the details of data storage equipment. Used Data storage hardware is an excellent resource for buyers who need to build out a new storage system or add on to existing. The savings can allow you to buy more storage or to hire new staff or upgrade your applications.
After reviewing the options above, carefully consider what kind of storage your company needs. Do you need lots of storage, but can deal with slower access speeds? Or do you need a moderate amount of storage with quick retrieval? If you are willing to expend more money, you can have both massive storage space and easy access, especially when adding Vibrant’s discount data storage hardware into the mix. The size of your business, the amount of money you can invest, and your overall storage needs will determine what kind of enterprise storage you end up investing in.
And remember that your storage infrastructure is always an investment. Having a proper data storage system will streamline your business. You will need a reliable system, with recovery and backup options. As a business, losing access to your information, even for a few minutes, could cost you money and, in the long run, customers. All companies deal in some kind of data. It is now more convenient to store information on a computer than it is paper files, but only if you can access it when you need it most.
Contact Vibrant Technologies today to get pricing on the Data Storage solution that suits your IT needs.