Data reduction is an umbrella term that refers to features that can help organizations store more data into their existing storage capacity. You can effectively reduce the amount of data that you have to store through many different methods, each of which are discussed in depth in this book. For now,
just consider things like data deduplication and compression as being the top two ways that data reduction and storage efficiency are achieved.
With data reduction, you get a multiplier effect that, in essence, amplifies the actual capacity of your storage. Data reduction technologies are measured based on a ratio that provides information about how much reduction you’re getting.
This ratio — represented as effective reduction tells you how effective the array’s reduction capabilities are based on your workloads.
For example, suppose you’re seeing what would be termed as a “5:1” data reduction. With such a reduction factor, you’re actually able to store the equivalent of five times as much information in every byte on your storage array, effectively increasing its capacity by 500 percent. Whereas
data reduction is often an optional feature on legacy storage systems, modern smart storage systems integrate reduction technology right into the array, making it an inextricable part of the array’s operation system. Now, think about this from an economics perspective. For every dollar you’re spending on raw storage capacity, you’re actually getting $5 worth of effective storage capacity. That’s just one way that a smart storage system can begin to help you tame the wild beast that has become storage economics.
Facility costs related to power and cooling are often a significant — and often overlooked — expense. Its benefits in an all‐flash environment are derived thanks to physics as well as software features built into all‐flash storage systems. Physics? Yes, physics. Here’s why: All of those moving parts in a traditional disk system use motors that consume a lot of power and generate a lot of heat, as well as a lot of noise. An array with a couple of dozen spinning disks can sound like a jet fighter taking flight! With an all‐flash system, there are many fewer moving parts. While arrays themselves will still have fans to provide cooling, the disks themselves are motionless.
The result is massively reduced electrical costs. Further, because far less heat is generated, far less cooling is needed, too. Your data center air conditioning systems will thank you after you deploy all‐flash storage! With flash storage, achieving rates such as 5:1 data reduction means that you need much less hardware than the past. Many legacy spinning disk‐based data centers didn’t have data reduction capabilities by default, so you only had raw disk space to work with. By enabling data reduction by default across an array, you can effectively reduce the amount of storage hardware you actually need, which further reduces
power and cooling costs.