People call on storage devices and systems to do lots of things, from accelerating I/O to copying and sharing data. But at the heart of it all, storage arrays really have just one job: Do not lose data!
It’s clear how this fairy tale ends. So many companies are using “S3 plus” as their standard interface, and even inside their solutions, that it’s safe to say it’s won the cloud storage API battle. But S3 isn’t a finalized spec – the industry will extend and improve it over the coming years. Soon we’ll have a cloud storage standard based on S3, just like we have a LAN file services standard based on CIFS.
As I’ve written about what I’m calling the “Rack Endgame”, the specter of converged infrastructure hasn’t been far from my thoughts. As others have pointed out, disaggregation of servers, networks, and storage doesn’t require a rack-sized stack; it can exist in a rack-mountable chassis and is already on sale!
Industry watchers like me have long wondered when Cisco will transform itself into a full-line IT infrastructure vendor. This strategy was tipped in 2009 as Cisco barged into the server market with UCS. But one leg of the stool is still missing: Storage remains the province of Cisco partners like EMC and NetApp.
Top-of-rack flash and bottom-of-rack disk makes a ton of sense in a world of virtualized, distributed storage. It fits with enterprise paradigms yet delivers real architectural change that could “move the needle” in a way that no centralized shared storage system ever will. SAN and NAS aren’t going away immediately, but this new storage architecture will be an attractive next-generation direction!
We were never able to achieve storage virtualization in mainstream enterprise IT because we lacked the ability to identify and move data non-disruptively. This has been solved by caching and distributed storage solutions, and it’s only a matter of time before the legacy need for centralized storage falls away.
Ask any project manager if it’s possible to deliver something that is fast, good, and cheap, and they’ll laugh. The phenomenon known as the Iron Triangle limits just about everything in the world from meeting all three conflicting requirements. Yet, for the last two decades, enterprise storage array vendors have been trying to deliver just this. How’s that working out?
DataGravity is coming to market with a mainstream product differentiated by unique features at a reasonable price. Although similar data management technology has existed for a long time, DataGravity is bringing it to the IT infrastructure market at no additional cost. The questions are simple: Will IT want a new array with these capabilities? And will DataGravity have the resources to mature their initial product to compete with “real” e-discovery solutions?