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A Deep Dive into Storage Technologies

Level 10

Most organizations rely heavily on their data, and managing all that information can be challenging. Data storage comes with a range of complex considerations, including:

  • Rapid business growth creates an increase in stored data.
  • Stored data should be secure, but, at the same time, accessible to all users. This requires significant investments in time and money.
  • Foreseeing a natural or man made disaster, and ensuring adequate data backups in the event of those occurrences can be challenging.
  • Dealing with storage architecture complications can be difficult to manage.

And the list goes on.

The storage administrator is tasked with handling these issues. Luckily for the admin, there are new methods of storing data available on the market that can help. Before choosing one of these methods, it is important to ask “is this right for my environment?” To answer this question, you need to know each of the new methods in detail. This article talks about some trends that are now available for data storage.

Software-defined storage

Software-defined storage (SDS) manages data by pushing traffic to appropriate storage pools. It does this independent of hardware via an external programmatic control, usually using an application programming interface (API).

The SDS storage infrastructure allows the storage of data from different devices, different manufacturers, or a centralized location when a request comes from an application for a specific storage service. SDS will precisely match demand, and provide storage services based on the request (capacity, performance, protection, etc.).

Integrated computing platform (ICP)

Servers traditionally run individual VMs, and data storage is supported by network attached storage (NAS), direct attached storage (DAS), or storage area network (SAN). However, with ICP or hyper-converged architecture, computer, networking, and storage are combined into one physical solution.

In a nutshell, with ICP or hyper-convergence, we have a single box that can:

  • Provide computer power.
  • Act as a storage pool.
  • Virtualize data.
  • Communicate with most common systems.
  • Serve as a shared resource.

Open source storage solutions

As digital storage becomes more popular, it has created a path for the development of different open source storage solutions, such as Openstack and Hadoop. The open source community has developed, or is trying to develop, tools to help organizations store, secure, and manage their data. With open source storage solutions, there is a chance for organizations to reduce their CAPEX and OPEX costs. Open source solutions give companies the option to create in-house developments, which allows them to customize their storage solutions to their needs.

These open source solution might not be a plug and play mechanism, however there will be plenty of pieces ready. You should modify the pieces together and create something unique and that fits your company policies and needs.  This way the open source solutions provides a flexible and cost effective solution.

These are just a few storage solutions. My next blog, talk's about flash, Cloud, and object storage.

8 Comments
MVP
MVP

This may work for some environments...although I see challenges with regards to heavy database apps.  I am sure as time goes by this will develop and evolve.

These solutions, I think, would / will find a lot of resistance in established enterprise environments.

Level 12

nice information about data storage.

Level 9

When praveenmanoharr talks about Flash storage, specifically all flash storage, you will find happiness.  The biggest limitation that I have seen with DB environments is either memory or storage processing the requests from the app.  I just "retired" from our storage department (very boring) and started working in networking again.  We will soon be moving to an all flash array (EMC XtremeIO) which will take care of everything.  The all flash solutions are capable of delivering easily into the hundreds of thousands IOPs.  Good stuff for the future, but as expected currently very spendy. 

Level 17

Interesting. The ICP solutions have been building in the Small Business world. Turnkey is what everyone likes to hear. Pay 1 guy and it works, same guy comes for service as well...

Level 10

That's true Jfrazier, all solution will not be "one size fit all " solution. Each organization have to look at the pros and cons of each solution and select which best suits them.

Level 10

So what do you think will best fit for a established enterprise environment ?

Hopefully you have also seen my part 2 for this blog:

https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/geek-speak_tht/blog/2015/08/27/a-deep-d...

Level 10

That's correct. But even ICP solutions have their disadvantages. 

You can refer my post on The Pros and Cons of Today’s Storage Technologies

Moreover, not all can afford it.