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The 5 Pitfalls of Legacy Database Environments

By Ines Marjanovic

Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA, PostgreSQL, MySQL. For many organizations, these databases, among others, are essential components of their success—but their potential is stunted. That’s because too many of these databases are still running on legacy IT infrastructure.

Riddled with silos and complexity in every corner, legacy IT is neither efficient nor scalable enough to continue running these databases. Beyond the poor performance and inefficiency of running relational databases on legacy infrastructure, your IT team is likely struggling with one, two, or all of the following pitfalls.

Silos = Low Utilization

Silos are an all-too-familiar pain point for businesses operating on legacy infrastructure. And while silos do have a purpose in addressing unique database and application demands, they drive up direct capital costs and operating costs. And for many organizations, their CPU utilization stays at a measly 20%, which calls for more hardware, and consequently, higher licensing costs.

But with all that extra equipment, you’re left with an environment that’s complex to deploy, manage, and pay for. The power, space, and cooling requirements that that “extra” equipment necessitates isn’t free, either.

From your Infrastructure to your People

Your infrastructure doesn’t exist in a petri dish. What happens with your infrastructure affects your business processes and most importantly, your people. Here’s a breakdown of how that works:

Infrastructure Processes People
  • Slow provisioning
  • High long-term costs
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Difficult, forklift scaling
  • Lengthy, complex upgrades
  • Little time dedicated to innovation
  • Costly IT specialists needed to manage complexity
  • Poor productivity

When your employees spend too much time in the datacenter and too little time on business-moving projects, not only do your employee retention rates drop, but your business stays stuck in innovation purgatory.

Application UNavailability

Data loss and poor application availability are major concerns for most businesses, yet the truth of the matter is most business-critical applications are under protected. Why? For businesses relying on legacy infrastructure to support their virtualized applications, they often face too much downtime.

Plus, not all database applications are created equal, so it’s important to understand which metrics are most important for your applications. Here are 3 measures you can use:

  • IOPS: Storage performance for transaction-oriented applications, such as databases, OLTP, and email, is usually measured in I/O Operations Per Second (IOPS). For IOPS comparisons to be meaningful, you must consider the size of the operation (4 KB and 8 KB, usually) and the mix of read/write operations. 
  • Latency: Latency measures how long it takes an I/O to complete. For applications that measure performance in IOPS, latency is extremely important. Real-time trading, OLTP, and other time-sensitive applications can be extremely latency sensitive.
  • Throughput: Also known as “bandwidth,” throughput measures the amount of data moved in and out of storage. Some applications, like data warehouses and OLAP, rely on sequential, streaming access to large blocks of data, so the I/O performance for these is in MB/sec or GB/sec.

Complex Hypervisor Environments

Nowadays, 89% of organizations say their IT environments are too complex as is. Even so, enterprise IT teams still rely on multiple hypervisors, creating unneeded complexity, operational overhead, and datacenter “clutter.”

Plus, most IT solutions have significant limitations that leave your IT team locked in and increase your total costs. Expensive hypervisor licensing fees are no exception.

Out of the Clouds

We’re in the age of the cloud. More specifically, we’re in the age of hybrid and multi-cloud. So, it’s no surprise more businesses want to leverage the power of the cloud to run traditional enterprise applications and cloud-native applications.

But to utilize the power of hybrid and multi-cloud, your infrastructure needs to support both—something legacy IT architecture simply isn’t equipped to do. Many businesses aren’t able to deliver cloud services to complement and support their database environments, struggle with complex multi-cloud management, and face costly data protection and disaster recovery expenses.

Run your Databases on the Right Infrastructure

If you’re ready to move your databases elsewhere, chances are you might have some performance concerns. Will it change? Will it be hindered? How can I make sure it’s consistent?

And if you’re virtualizing for the first time, performance reliability is an even bigger concern. But on traditional infrastructure, ensuring semi-reliable performance requires constant, tedious tuning.

On hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), you’re free from tuning requirements. Powered by HCI, Nutanix Enterprise Cloud uses adaptable clusters to deliver excellent random read/write performance (IOPS) for transactional workloads and excellent sequential read/write performance (bandwidth) for streaming workloads.

Plus, your database application workloads—no matter how quickly they grow—are fully supported on HCI. Because legacy infrastructure frequently demands expensive, difficult upgrades, businesses hoping to scale their databases aren’t always well-equipped to do so. That’s why hyperconverged infrastructure scales out one node at a time, replace complex, costly legacy components with a single platform, and distributes all operating functions across a cluster for performance. Put simply: Easier scaling, zero downtime.

From disaster recovery to simplicity to automation, hyperconvergence is the smartest choice for running your databases in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. But if the switch to HCI seems fuzzy, familiarize yourself with this quick read—The Database Solutions Pocketbook—before you make your move.

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