Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Charles Araujo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

The Future of Data Storage Solutions | @CloudExpo #SDS #Cloud #Storage

Businesses need access to billions of files, which often means moving to a new storage system. Let's review your options.

Bridging the divide between legacy storage and new data management platforms could constrain IT organizations and budgets and could prevent the utilization of cost-effective scalable storage infrastructures. But, businesses can avoid some of these constrains by evaluating their storage options objectively and asking themselves three important questions.

A decade ago, we were putting 250-gigabyte drives into servers. When people mentioned the cloud, they were talking about the weather, and a business was considered to be on the cutting edge if it needed to store a few million files.

Now, we have access to 10-terabyte drives, and grandparents are using the cloud to store pictures of their grandkids. It's now common for businesses to need access to billions of files, so companies need to move to newer systems to keep track of everything. With so many options available today, what's really the best solution for storage?

Common Data Storage Systems
To truly understand legacy storage systems, you need to know how storage has evolved beyond the hard drive. Here is a quick rundown of the most common solutions that have emerged over the years:

  • Storage Area Network (SAN): A SAN is a dedicated network that connects storage devices with servers typically using a Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, or Ethernet. SANs are commonly used for database servers and other applications that require a low-latency block-level storage interface. Advanced setups allow for clustering and failover capabilities among the servers.

    The downsides of SANs are that they often require exotic network hardware, proprietary software tools, and specialized staff to deploy and manage them. For these reasons, membership in the storage area network is normally limited to a small number of servers.

  • Network Attached Storage (NAS): The storage devices in a NAS can be a purpose-built NAS appliance or a general-purpose server running Windows or Linux that delivers files to clients. While there have historically been many protocols that connect storage devices and clients, the market has settled upon a couple: Network File System (NFS) and Server Message Block (SMB). An NAS appliance is an all-in-one bundle of integrated hardware and software that is built for the sole purpose of delivering files to clients. Almost any general-purpose server can also deliver files and act like an NAS with the appropriate level of administrative configuration.

    Unfortunately, there are inherent disadvantages of NAS systems. With limited potential to scale, they can quickly become costly, complex, and labor-intensive to manage.

  • Software-Defined Storage (SDS): SDS is still an evolving concept that can include file-based, object-based, block, cloud and storage management solutions. Software-defined storage essentially separates the data and services layers from the underlying hardware. Software-defined storage solutions typically involve storage virtualization, and they may provide features like search, organization, replication, distribution, thin provisioning, snapshots and backup to name a few.

  • Cloud-Based Storage (Public and Private): As a multi-tenant environment, a public cloud storage system requires you to purchase a portion of a cloud-based computing environment that is shared with many other tenants. Public cloud storage is offered in an on-demand arrangement with monthly payments that can be advantageous; however, capacity and access costs are compounded monthly and won't go down until data is deleted. Because you pay for the bandwidth to use your data, you may resist running analytics and other operations that would incur additional monthly charges.

    Private cloud storage solutions let you deploy storage as a service within your data center. You need to make an upfront capital investment in hardware and have the data center space and electrical power to run the service. If security is a priority, you are storing large amounts of data for long periods of time, or you are performing a lot of reads (such as analytics) on your data, a private cloud is almost always the best option. There are also hybrid solutions that provide a combination of private and public services.

  • Object-Based Storage: One popular type of SDS is object-based storage, which is at the heart of many public and private cloud-based storage services. In this model, there is no hierarchical folder structure; however, object-based storage does provide a method for data organization using metadata (often defined as "data about data"). In object-based storage systems, the data is organized into self-contained entities (objects). This flat approach provides for greater scalability and can be less expensive than block or file-based storage systems. For businesses with a need to store and search through high volumes of data, this is often the ideal solution.

Building a cost-effective and scalable storage infrastructure is not a task to be taken lightly. Initiatives like this have the potential to impact IT resources and inflate budgets. So how do you bridge the divide between legacy storage systems and the new data management platforms?

Planning for the Future
Bridging the gap between legacy storage and newer technologies sometimes requires ensuring compatibility through protocols such as S3, RESTful HTTP, NFS, and SMB. As a result, business and IT leaders should consider a few important matters before determining the best data management platform to use for taking their businesses into the future.

  1. What type of data is being stored, and how quickly is it growing? SAN and NAS are still your best options for structured data; however, the total amount of structured information an organization has is often less than 10 percent. Unstructured data is often 90 percent or more of the total capacity need. If you focus on your unstructured data growth rate year over year, you'll most likely notice an acceleration.

    Some of this acceleration can be accounted for in factors such as the improvements in resolution for videos and images as well as new sources of unstructured data, such as log files, metrics, and data created by devices. Create a formula based on these considerations, and use it in conjunction with your historic storage capacity compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) to estimate your needs three to five years out. Using your forecasted capacity need, select a storage solution that can expand to accommodate your expected growth.

  2. What are your access patterns? When you think about access, consider what (device, application, etc.) and who needs access and exactly how they will access it (e.g., geographical location and interface or search mechanism). When you have billions of files, how will you find what you need? Almost as important, how will you determine what you don't need so you can confidently delete this data? When choosing your future storage platform, make sure your chosen solution supports your organization's access requirements.

  3. How long must the data be retained? Data retention rates vary by industry from a few seconds to indefinitely. When you think about retention, consider the cost of different protection methods versus the value of the data and ease of migration (e.g., how easy it is to continue to evolve the underlying hardware infrastructure). If you factor ease of migration into your decisions today, you will make your life simpler when you one day find yourself needing to migrate petabytes or possibly exabytes of data.

    Beyond how long you are required to retain data, consider how long that data may be valuable to you from both an information and a monetary perspective.

The relationships between data and keeping content accessible and instantly searchable increase profit and agility, something every forward-thinking business leader understands. If you can keep your data online, organize it, and search it, you can continue to extract value from it.

In the information age, those who can leverage long-tail data will not only succeed, but they will also reap benefits in orders of magnitude greater than those constrained by the limits of traditional technologies.

More Stories By Jonathan Ring

Jonathan Ring is co-founder and CEO of Caringo, a leading scale-out storage provider. Prior to Caringo, Jonathan was an active angel investor advising a broad range of companies, and he was a vice president of engineering at Siebel Systems, where he was a member of the executive team that grew Siebel from $4 million to $2 billion in sales. Jonathan’s passion and experience are shaping the future of Caringo.

@CloudExpo Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors!
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.