Storage Platform Questions

Storage Platform Questions

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Server Architecture& HyperScale

storage_types StorageArchitecture




Selling the Power of EMCII Portfolio attach


IO breakdown (estimates):

  • MS SQL (50% of our total IO)
    • 75% OLTP
    • 25% OLAP
  • MS Exchange (30% of total IO)
  • Generic servers (15% of total IO)
  • VDI (5% of total IO)

Capacity consuming apps:

Server Architecture

  • Traditional (Scale Up)
    • Client/Server – ERP, Filers, DBs
  • Converged (Scale Up)– VSPEC, VCE
    • Mission Critical – SAP, VDI, Exchange
  • HyperConverged (Scale-Out) – vSAN, VxRack
    • Software Defined Data Centre (Networking, Storage) and Flash – VDI, Branch,
  • HyperScale(Scale-Out) – ScaleIO, Ceph, AWS, OpenStack
    • 3rd Platform – Mobile, Big Data, Social Apps, IoT

Server Questions

  • Do you require NUMA
  • Do you require anti-affinity
  • Do you require Server Pinning
  • Do you require bare metal or 100% virtual
  • What is your peak usage for Memory, CPU, IOPS?
  • What is your workload types (CPU, RAM DISK) e.g. Test/UAT/Prod/DR,etc
  • Workload percentage
  • Workload total server
  • What is your total CPU, Memory, Disk
  • What is your current CPU mark score total?
  • What is your expected growth?
  • Availability
  • Snapshot reserves

technical Questions

  1. Describe current infrastructure and applications?
  2. What is your critical business services?
  3. What is your main pain points?
  4. What is you growth requirements?
  5. What are you key drivers for change?
  6. Can you meet your RPO and RTOs?
  7. What is your DC Strategy?
  8. What is your WAN and Links bandwith, speed and type?
  9. Logical Server and Storage Architectures?
  10. Match Workloads and Application to right architecture and Product Portfolio
  11. Do you have existing storage?
  12. What is your usable Space requirements?
  13. What is your budget
  14. What is the core application
  15. What is your Rate of Change of Data? (Compare most recent full backups.)
  16. What is the visualization platform
  17. What is your connectivity protocol. (NFS, CIFS, FC, ISCSI, FCoE)
  18. Switch Speed
  19. Host compatibility?
  20. Switch Compatibility?
  21. What type of data (File, VM, Database)
  22. Write intensive or Read Intensive or both transnational
  23. What IOPS are required?
  24. What is the percentage for Read vs Write?
  25. What is the Application System Requirements
  26. What are you Server requirements
  27. What Replication is required?
  28. Storage Performance Split (Flash Cache, SSD, SAS, Near-Line SAS, Capacity, SATA)
  29. Disk IOPS (IOPS = 1/(*avgLatency + *avgSeek) *in seconds
    1. SATA
      1. 7.5 K  75-100
      2. 10 K 125-150
    2. NL-SAS
      1. 7.5 K
    3. SAS
      1. 10 K 140
      2. 15 K 175-210
    4. SSD
      1. MLC
      2. SLC
  31. 1GBE or 10 GB Connectivity
  32. SFP = 1G
    SFP+ = 1/10G
    QSFP = 40G
  33. Port Connectivity (CAT-5, 10-Base-T, TwinAx, SPF+, Copper, Fibre, SAS)
  34. (NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, Block)6 GB SAS
    12 GB SAS8 GB FC
    12 GB FC1 GBase-T CAT 6
    10 Gbase-T CAT 6
    Optical 1 GBase-T iSCSI – SFP
    Optical 10 Gbase-T iSCSI – TWAX
    10GbE FCoE – SFP
    10GbE FCoE – Active TWAX
  35. Cable Requirements and Port Connections to Switch (Transceivers )
  36. Backup Features
  37. Tape Connectivity
  38. Support Requirements
  39. Controller Redudancy (NetApp 7-Mode, NetApp Cluster-Mode)
  40. Data Migration
  41. How many spares Drives
  42. What warranty would you like and the term
  43. Storage Architecture (Type 1, Type 2, Type, 3, Type 4)
  45. StorageArchitecture
  46. UCSQuickStart
  47. StorgeFundamentals

Business questions

For Business Decision-makers:


  • What plans do you have for expanding offerings or for growth in services to your customers? To your staff?
  • What are your growth goals?
  • What is your ROA (return on assets)?
  • How are growing costs affecting your company’s—flexibility, profit margin?
  • What are your compliance and security challenges?
  • How would you like the data center to support your vision?
  • What do you see as the greatest risks to your business?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
  • How do you see the data center supporting your competitive differentiation?
  • What plans do you have in place for business continuance? Have they been implemented?


  • We need to reduce TCO
  • We need to make the data center a profit center
  • Green initiatives are of great importance to our customers, too.
  • We want to expand our cloud services
  • We want to virtualize our workforce
  • We have acquisitions planned that will require consolidation


  • Research the company well: Dig into financials, read industry reports, subscribe to industry blogs and feeds
  • Build consensus at operational levels
  • Know competitor offerings
  • Prepare to describe how an end-to-end approach can reduce TCO and improve productivity.
  • Ask yourself: Why does my customer need or want it?
  • Know your competition.
  • Review available Cisco Capital options.

 For technology decision-makers:


  • Tell me about how your data center has developed. Has that development posed challenges?
  • Are you moving to total virtualization?
  • What business strategies are you grappling with fulfilling now? Into the future?
  • How do you see the data center contributing to business growth?
  • How quickly can you roll out new apps?.
  • What issues are you experiencing around technical readiness, implementation, monitoring and optimization?
  • What technical issues keep you up at night?
  • Has your business continuance and data recovery plan been tested? Is it adequate to effectively deal with internal and external risks and threats?
  • How do you expect the Cisco data center solution to help you?
  • Are you planning to deploy new applications,
  • Do you have any plans for data center growth or changes? Or are you adding new branches or acquired companies to the data center load?
  • What is your biggest challenge in the data center today?


  • We struggle with planning around product lifecycles
  • There are too many access points/policies that are difficult to manage effectively.
  • We need to have air-tight security
  • We need hardware and software support for our remote workers.
  • We’re not getting efficient utilization out of our existing infrastructure.


  • Describe planning around business lifecycles instead of product lifecycles
  • Use the three-level architectural selling model :
  • Identify Current State – technical and business
  • Define Target State
  • Create Transition Roadmap
  • Know what the competition is offering, and why

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