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.
This week, SpectraLogic announced DS3 and “BlackPearl”, an innovative product for tape storage using a cloud API. Although BlackPearl sounds like an Amazon Glacier clone, it’s really nothing of the sort. BlackPearl extends the S3 API for tape storage but this “DS3” API requires well-behaved clients and disciplined access. BlackPearl is exciting, it’s novel, and it’s useful. But it’s not S3 or Glacier, despite what some initial coverage may say.
Data storage isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially at enterprise or cloud scale. It’s simple enough to read and write a bit of data, but much harder to build a system that scales to store petabytes. That’s why I’m keenly focused on a new wave of storage systems built from the ground up for scaling!
Enterprise storage is perhaps the most innovative area of IT these days, with exciting startups springing up right and left. Today, that scene welcomes Qumulo, who are building a new storage platform focused on scalability, efficiency, and simplicity. Qumulo catches my eye for two reasons: The team is heavy with Isilon experience, and CTO Aaron Passey really impressed me with his work at Clustrix.
When I say â€œcloud storageâ€, you probably think of Amazon S3: Big, slow, cheap, and distributed. That’s probably why the people I talk to about SolidFire usually start shaking their heads and denouncing the company. After all, who would be crazy enough to create an all flash storage array for cloud storage applications? But maybe it’s not so crazy; maybe SolidFire is simply playing a different ballgame.
I’ve got a new video podcast up and running: Raising the Floor is a series of discussions about the future of enterprise IT. I kicked the series off talking about one of my favorite topics: Cloud storage. It was a pretty broad discussion, all packed into less than half an hour, but I wanted to share a few excerpts.
I’ve never been a fan of thin provisioning as a storage management tool. Don’t get me wrong, I love having thin provisioning in my toolkit to overcome the limitations of conventional filesystems. Thin provisioning just gets under my skin when folks try to use it to solve business problems like long deployment time and slow purchasing cycles. If you attended any of the thin provisioning sessions I’ve presented at Storage Decisions, Interop, E-Storm, or elsewhere then you’ve heard my wistful dreaming of real automatic provisioning without the hackery of thin provisioning systems. But perhaps I didn’t mention that actual automatic provisioning actually exists today! It’s one of the many things I love about API-driven cloud storage!
Change is not a word normally associated with storage, and revolution is practically unheard of. Today’s modern enterprise storage systems and networks employ massive resources to do one simple thing: Emulate the basic hard disk drives used over three decades ago. But cracks are appearing in our mausoleum of fake disks: Application developers are discovering the value of object storage, and storage systems are appearing to support this need.
I’m loving the Woo theme for this blog, and especially love that they integrated the cool TimThumb script to automatically resize thumbnails for the main page. But everything stopped working when I added TanTan’s Wordpress-S3 plugin to store my images on Amazon’s servers. Luckily, I found a fix!
Data Robotics is back with yet another member in the rapidly-expanding Drobo family of “storage robots.” The newly-announced Drobo FS brings gigabit Ethernet, file-sharing protocols, and installable apps to the platform’s industry-leading flexibility and data protection. But Drobo FS is no slam dunk: It’s expensive, not found in (many) stores, and the value proposition can be difficult to comprehend. Will Drobo FS sink or swim?