Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Saar Bitner, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Virtualization, Java, SOA & WOA, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Apache

Virtualization: Blog Feed Post

Object Storage Not Yet Defined

Agreed that object storage platforms scale better than file systems & NAS

The ExecEvent Object Storage Summit earlier this month continued to generate buzz on the industry, which is very exciting. Amplidata was represented – in spirit – at the Summit by our partners Intel and Quantum; due to an insane travel and show schedule this fall that kept us from attending personally.  We’re grateful for the mention in Storage Switzerland’s sponsor briefing articles. Very cool! With all the great stuff that has been happening for Amplidata lately, including the awesome performance test results by Howard Marks, we felt a bit like we were missing our own birthday party. We’ll be there next time!

The event fostered a few “What is Object Storage?” posts from, amongst others, George Crump. Jim O’Reilly also posted a very interesting article, although I’m not sure if he was at the event. If he wasn’t, he should be next time!

Both articles add to the body of knowledge that is rapidly evolving on what object storage is, and why customers should adopt it – so, every article helps. With a topic as technical as object storage, it’s easy to evangelize with a deep technical dive.  But that misses the “elegant simplicity” point.  Hence we love George’s use of the car park analogy which we ourselves often embrace.  His article was a helpful at-a-glance overview.  On a more technical level, Jim’s explanation of such concepts as immutable blobs, “the original version is the only version”, objects still look like files etc. offer more on how object storage really works. George’s analysis on how “Objects are given unique ID numbers” is what’s missing in Jim’s article. I guess, what we’re saying is “read both articles.”

But read them critically, and you will see that we’re not there yet. As you can read in Jim’s article, the paradigm has been around much longer than many of us know and we’re not complete in defining the best use cases, implementations, architectures, etc. For example, I’m not at all sure about the reduced metadata George writes about. I believe that over time, as we start using richer applications, we will be storing more metadata, not less. To me, Jim’s statement “To be an object, a blob of data needs a much more detailed descriptor record than what file systems use.” is more accurate.

Both articles also cover the “why” of Object Storage. I’m not sure I see the use of Jim’s deduplication paragraph, and I think we are missing erasure coding as an alternative to RAID in his article (replication can be expensive too!). Jim accurately mentions that block storage was I/O focused, but omits the exceptional throughput performance some of the object stores deliver. A good thing is that Jim sees the scalability, flexibility and cost-saving opportunities. Finally, I very much like his use cases: Google Picasa, Amazon S3, Genome etc. and it is very interesting to read that Jim sees potential for object storage in the Big Data analytics space.

So back to George’s take on why we need object storage. Agreed that object storage platforms scale better than file systems & NAS but, again, not so much because of the metadata. File systems have different challenges, such as the granularity of the hardware, limitations on numbers of files or the number of levels in the hierarchy. Distributed file systems tried to solve some of these issues, but object storage is just a much simpler approach. Agreed that adding NAS heads is an expensive and not so great solution!

The second topic I thought was interesting was the issue of “bit rot”. Bit rot is a real problem and will lead to data loss with traditional storage technologies, but not every object store will solve that. How I understood it is that it is the underlying data protection scheme that solves the problem of bit rot, not necessarily Object Storage. Erasure Coding detects bit rot and prevents data loss.  I don’t think you could restore the content of an object using the identifier, but maybe there is some really cool technology out there that I don’t know of. As George wrote “The storage system does not need an elaborate RAID protection algorithm nor do its administrators need to suffer through long RAID rebuild cycles”, I think he actually alludes to Erasure Coding but didn’t want to go that deep in this article.

Another interesting point in George’s article is the issue with backups. Once you go into the petabyte range, it becomes very unwieldy to backup data. He mentions the backup window, but add to that the overhead cost. George promotes using the unique IDs to make sure “that there are always copies of each object available on-site and off-site.” Again with the proper underlying protection schemes (erasure coding) you can rule out backups altogether!

I’m sure both George and Jim will appreciate the feedback – I fully agree with the benefits object storage brings to track iterations of files and the paragraph on geo dispersion, which we have termed geo-spreading. Finally, I hope to read some more of George’s thoughts about how object storage can help to monetize archived data as that, to me, is a key argument for this new but then again not so new storage paradigm. This is obviously not the end of the discussion; a lot will and needs to be said about this new paradigm. I’m looking forward to attending the next Object Storage events…

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality.

@CloudExpo Stories
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
"Ulunsoft is a start-up that focuses on how enterprises build cloud-based IT infrastructure for business," explained Haibo Zhu, President of Ulunsoft Corp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in San...
As enterprises engage with Big Data technologies to develop applications needed to meet operational demands, new computation fabrics are continually being introduced. To leverage these new innovations, organizations are sacrificing market opportunities to gain expertise in learning new systems. In his session at Big Data Expo, Supreet Oberoi, Vice President of Field Engineering at Concurrent, Inc., discussed how to leverage existing infrastructure and investments and future-proof them against e...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core...
"Verizon Digital Media Services is responsible for the broadcast, video and content delivery network that accelerates, scales and helps our customers reach end users with all kinds of video and web content," stated James Segil, CMO of Verizon Digital Media Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
“We are strong believers in the DevOps movement and our staff has been doing DevOps for large enterprise environments for a number of years. The solution that we build is intended to allow DevOps teams to do security at the speed of DevOps," explained Justin Lundy, Founder & CTO of Evident.io, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.