By Paula Dallabetta

When Qumulo tells you the usable capacity of our storage system, we mean exactly that: this is the capacity you can use to store files, regardless of file size and without adversely affecting performance. It seems straightforward, yet this is a statement that most file storage and NAS vendors can’t make.

In fact, taking into account the inefficiencies of traditional data protection methods and the performance problems that can come with full utilization, most storage vendors recommend you leave at least 20 percent, and often as much as 30 percent, of your storage capacity reserved to maintain the performance of your system. In addition to this 20-30 percent, vendors often require additional capacity reserved for data protection or for administration (see figure below). For example, Qumulo can safely run at 2-drive protection where others require 3-drive protection given our leading-edge restripe and rebalance performance. The difference between 2-drive and 3-drive protection can be up to 15 percent of raw capacity. Certain vendors also have a “small file tax” where managing small files less than 128K in size, adds to the problem of not being able to use all of your storage.

Think about that: depending on your configuration, you may need to allocate 20 to 30 percent of your traditional storage to ensure performance, up to 15 percent for data protection, and a few more percentage points to be able to perform standard maintenance tasks. You, in fact, paid 40 to 50 percent more for your usable storage than you thought you did.

The tradeoff between utilization and performance is also very familiar to storage administrators. Many scale-up systems, RAID-based systems, and some of the more popular open-source file systems experience performance degradation as the storage starts to be significantly consumed. To avoid performance problems, you’re supposed to stay under 70 percent of usable capacity. When you exceed the recommended usable capacity, you can experience significant performance problems. Which means you need to be constantly monitoring your platforms.

You shouldn’t have to choose between utilization and performance—but that’s the position many vendors put you in. We know this is what you have come to expect but we challenge you to raise your expectations.

Unlike some other legacy storage vendors, Qumulo’s performance doesn’t degrade as your system fills. Instead of keeping 30 percent of your capacity in reserve, you can go ahead and use 100 percent of it, storing billions of files with no impact on performance.

Over 25 percent of Qumulo’s customers show actual usage is over 80 percent of capacity on a regular basis.

Qumulo Customer            Actual Usage
Satellite, imagery                99.0%
Large Game Developer      94.8%
Creative Studio                   94.9%
Creative Studio                   94.7%
Creative Studio                   92.4%
IT Service Management     91.8%
Creative Studio                   93.8%
Design Engineering            91.2%

No more overprovisioning. No more paying for storage you don’t use. No more dealing with performance degradation as you consume more storage. With Qumulo’s hybrid cloud file you can use 100 percent of usable capacity (available capacity after erasure coding protection) for files with confidence.

And we provide you the ability to monitor real-time performance, capacity, and usage, even for file counts numbering in the billions. With our real-time analytics, you gain insights and can prevent issues before they occur. Further, you can efficiently plan for future growth. Up-to-the-minute analytics allows administrators to rapidly pinpoint problems and effectively control how storage is used.

Your data is too important to leave to outdated legacy storage methods or to vendors with a loose grip on the concept of “usable capacity.” Qumulo delivers the transparency, predictability, and performance you need for modern digital-era data storage.

When evaluating storage solutions, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Be sure to compare the Qumulo solution to a 70 percent-usable capacity of legacy NAS vendors to understand the true cost you will be paying. Add to this the resulting environmental efficiencies (RU’s, power, HVAC) and Qumulo is the obvious choice.

Now is the time to get what you paid for.

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