Click here to close now.


@CloudExpo Authors: Anders Wallgren, Greg O'Connor, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Brian Daleiden

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
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
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...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
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...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...