Click here to close now.


@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Cloud Best Practices Network

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing Expo: Cloud Optimized Storage Solutions

The basic ideology of COSS is to ingest significant amounts of both structured and unstructured content

The basic ideology of Cloud Optimized Storage Solutions, as noted in the three previous installments, is to ingest significant amounts of both structured and unstructured content and, operating within the confines of SLAs and tiering, provide this data back to users with acceptable performance.

In the previous three Cloud Optimized Storage Solution (COSS) articles in this series, I’ve discussed the content being stored, the method of storage, as well as principles derived from data tiering.  Today, I want to jump ahead a bit and discuss how neural networks and heuristics can impact the processing of object and file data for the cloud.

One of the more recent advancements within computing has been the application of heuristics and neural networking. Heuristics is defined as being “…an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations…“ While heuristics has historically been used in such products like anti-virus software, it provides an incredible wealth of capability and technology for the COSS solution. Similarly, neural networks provide capacitive understanding of processing layers and optimizations that learn patterns based on underlying statistical data. How do these two technologies apply to COSS?

The basic ideology of COSS, as noted in the previous parts of this paper, is to ingest significant amounts of both structured and unstructured content and, operating within the confines of SLAs and tiering, provide this data back to users with acceptable performance. While fairly reductionistic in nature, it is how the data is allocated to storage that provides the greatest insight into the impact that neural nets and heuristics can potentially have. To illustrate this point, here is a graphical example of file placement within COSS without using heuristics.

As seen below, data is submitted to COSS by API or other integration point, meta data is calculated for said object based on pre-defined categories of content understanding (i.e. “Movies”) and content is placed in Tier 1 for faster access and greater availability. Policy is enacted on this movie object such that it is automatically moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 after a fixed period of time and again to Tier 3 based on similar time constraints. Globally, policy is additional set for compression, encryption, deduplication, and optimizations and this is applied for content at rest as well as incoming data. Once data has been moved from tier to tier, there is no really process for retrieving that data and promoting it to a different tier based on access or usage patterns.

While this example is extremely reductionistic, it highlights the particular areas where neural nets and heuristics can be applied to approve both the way that data is ingested but also how it is maintained across its lifespan (i.e until delete). In essence, COSS, under this particular model, is administrator-enforced. Here, then, is an example of data ingest to COSS with neural nets and heuristics enabled:

Almost immediately, it becomes apparent that COSS is taking a more active role in the ingest and storage allocation for the file data. Instead of having a global category created (i.e. “Movies”), COSS applies bit-patterning and packet inspection to the data being ingested to determine file composition. Such inspection has several significant implications: less time spent applying policy enhancements such as deduplication/encyption (storage processor intensive) and more time optimizing content layout and placement within tiers (default becomes Tier 2: accessibility and performance). Once the data is inspected, it is determined to be of a certain type (i.e. application/x-octet stream) and placed in a default tier (Tier 2). COSS recognizes that this data is already in a compressed state and rules out compression and deduplication policies and potentially, depending on source/API mapping, rules out encryption policies. Once data is at rest on Tier 2, COSS watches file access patterns to determine when and how it is being accessed. If statistical trending against that file starts showing increased access, COSS will promote the file to a higher tier for more adequate performance and access. If the trending notices a decline in traffic to that file, it can demote it to Tier 2, Tier 3, etc. without affecting surrounding data.

Implications for Global Implementations

The examples above highlighted policies and actions on a single file or object but when it is extrapolated out to the COSS system on a global level, it becomes a much more powerful tool. In essence, the heuristic database and neural network capabilities can be applied to linked COSS systems for global replication and file/object processing. As patterning is completed against file types and categories are created or designed by the engine, the resulting database can be asynchronously updated to other members of the larger COSS network. This replication would make use of recursive heuristic database updates to ensure consistency against the other COSS members and to ensure that data residing across all COSS members was categorized and tagged appropriately. Additionally, since one of the mechanisms for data protection with COSS is to utilize multiple data replicas for redundancy, it serves the additional purpose of spreading the database for protection purposes.

Implications for Heuristic Processing and Control

The additional processing overhead that heuristic analysis brings to the fore an added layer of complexity in implementation and design. Given that COSS is designed to utilize commodity hardware with the differentiating feature being the actual software “brains,” the added performance burden of a heuristic model might seem untenable for basic implementations. However, as recent research has shown, the simple addition of a General Purpose Graphical Processing Unit (GPGPU) to the COSS hardware to offload these more complex routines would fit within the paradigm of commodity hardware. By coding to specific GPGPU routines (as evidenced by the research into WPA key decode, for example) based on nVidia’s CUDA specifications, for example, the heuristic branch paths could be removed from the general storage operation paths handled by the storage system processor. Since each GPGPU typically has ownership of a local, low latency cache (e.g. GDDR4) and has multiple programmable vector units, the ability to process large sets of data is assured.

One area that would need to be addressed with the use of GPGPUs for heuristic programming is the issue of redundancy. Given that no methodology currently exists to maintain GPGPU functionality across two discrete units in a single system, either the programming path would need to account for multiple GPGPU engines within the general I/O complex or it would need to be designed into the heuristic path. In a clustered front end I/O stack (a la EMC’s Atmos), it would be a simple matter of having a GPGPU per individual node member with the overall software stack to process the heuristic path in a parallel fashion.

More Stories By Dave Graham

Dave Graham is a Technical Consultant with EMC Corporation where he focused on designing/architecting private cloud solutions for commercial customers.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
As-a-service models offer huge opportunities, but also complicate security. It may seem that the easiest way to migrate to a new architectural model is to let others, experts in their field, do the work. This has given rise to many as-a-service models throughout the industry and across the entire technology stack, from software to infrastructure. While this has unlocked huge opportunities to accelerate the deployment of new capabilities or increase economic efficiencies within an organization, i...
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.