Data is growing at an unprecedented rate.

In a recent 451 Research survey, respondents ranked “data and capacity growth” as their top pain point for enterprise. That was followed closely by the high cost of storage and the ability to meet compliance, regulatory, and disaster-recovery requirements. With the limitations of legacy storage systems, this isn’t that surprising.

Why is the volume of data exploding? Much of it has to do with new workloads, the increased pace of digital transformation, and an ever-increasing commitment to data-intensive processes like real-time analytics and machine learning.

But it’s not just data growth that’s taxing your storage and, with it, your ability to respond to changes. For example, new projects or business mergers can result in huge shifts to infrastructure requirements overnight. Consider the sudden, massive shift to remote work in 2020. Few saw that coming even in the weeks before it happened.

If growth and change are a constant in IT, then you need to make increasing the agility of your infrastructure a priority. Storage has often been a roadblock to achieving IT agility making it one of the first places to start to see high-impact change. You need to be able to upgrade storage systems non-disruptively and rapidly to increase performance, data capacity, or both. But with legacy storage, that process can be time-consuming, disruptive, expensive, and fraught with risk.

Limitations of Legacy Technology

Legacy storage is almost defined by its limitations. Products are often designed with obsolescence in mind. In turn, IT is ultimately bound by those limitations. Sure, you can usually add capacity up to a point, but you won’t achieve major improvements in performance, storage density, or new feature sets without scrapping everything and starting over. And those improvements are key to responding to both predictable growth and unforeseen challenges. In other words, if your storage is holding you back, you can’t respond when your business demands it.

So how do you modernize legacy storage? Simple: Just rip the old stuff out and buy it all over again—every three to five years. Obviously, there’s nothing simple about that. But that’s apparently what legacy storage vendors expect you to do. To get performance and density advancements, you must replace arrays with completely redesigned ones.

Hidden Costs of Legacy Upgrades

Legacy systems weren’t built to be upgraded in a modular way. Seemingly simple upgrades in controller, backplane, and storage media technology trigger time-consuming data-migration processes and cause production downtime. On top of that, you have to buy the storage hardware and software, losing your capital investment on the original array. That might make sense to legacy vendors, but it’s not a recipe for IT agility.

How long will an upgrade take? What impact will it have on application services? It can take days, weeks, or even months. You need to migrate all the applications and data in the old array to the new one during the upgrade.

In general, none of the legacy hardware or software can carry over to the new array. You basically have to start from scratch and rebuy everything: capacity, software, and advanced features like snapshots and replication.

To help this inherently risky process go more smoothly, many organizations hire outside professional services firms to plan and execute the technology refresh. This can easily add tens of thousands of dollars in services costs to what is already a hefty capital expense.

Agile Storage Designed to Last

So, what makes storage agile? It really comes down to storage architecture, where modular and upgradable is far better than monolithic and static. The system should be designed from the ground up and allow for upgrades with data in place, fully online, and performant. All the parts need to be interchangeable and allow for upgrades over time.

You should be able to hot-swap storage controllers with the latest processors, connectivity, and throughput. Mix and match old flash with new controllers and even new flash technologies (NVMe, anyone?). There won’t be any data migrations, hits to performance, or planned downtime. The chassis should last more than 10 years, so you’ll never have to upgrade the backplane. And you should be able to get major features and improvements through software upgrades, again without disruption.

That’s agile storage. And that’s exactly the approach Pure Storage® took to correct what was wrong with legacy storage.

Evergreen = Agility

Hear directly from Delta Faucet about their experience with Evergreen upgrades: 

Pure Evergreen Storage™ offers both an architecture that allows for non-disruptive upgrades and a subscription that enables you to keep things modern over time.

With an Evergreen Storage subscription, you can upgrade hardware, including controllers and flash, without having to rebuy it. Array software is included; there’s no extra charge for the software that is so crucial to everything Pure offers. You get new features through your subscription. And the software is fully upgradable online, without downtime or performance hits.

You get storage that adapts and grows over time without holding you back. It delivers the agility that you need not only to meet IT SLAs but also to respond to data growth, unforeseen changes, and business imperatives.

There’s a bottom-line benefit to Pure’s approach as well: dramatically lower total cost of ownership. Pure delivers effortless operation, space savings with up to 2x better data reduction, included controller upgrades, and an end to storage rebuys. That can add up to a 60% savings when compared to legacy storage.

Evergreen Storage is your subscription to innovation. Buy it once and stay modern over time. Thousands of IT professionals depend on it to keep their organizations agile. And customers like it. That’s why Pure has a Net Promoter Score more than twice the IT industry’s average and four times higher than legacy storage vendors.

Read the whitepaper.