Apple’s not an enterprise company or a storage company, but Apple does have enterprise storage features in their operating systems. And Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” is a great case in point. From Versions to Time Machine Local Snapshots to AirDrop, Lion brings some storage love, and NFS, SMB, and Xsan are there, too. Let’s look at what’s new and key in terms of storage in the latest version of Mac OS X.
Storage protocols continue to mimic direct attached storage, with the concepts of block and file at its core. No amount of virtualization, and no new protocol, will fix this – we need a storage revolution.
I began by introducing the core problem: Storage isn’t getting any cheaper due to storage utilization and provisioning problems. Thin provisioning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, since the telephone game makes de-allocation a challenge. So now let’s talk about how to make thin provisioning actually work.
Microsoft already gave the world FAT and NTFS, and both have become common in the non-Windows world thanks to flash drives, SD cards, and portable disks. But the folks from Redmond are now introducing a new filesystem, exFAT. Do we really need a new filesystem?
The Tech Field Day events I organize generate a massive amount of HD video content, and moving half a terabyte or more of data is a real issue. We had been using luggable desktop drives from Western Digital and Seagate, but preferred a smaller, lighter, USB bus-powered portable solution. The Seagate Expansion Portable USB drive we bought this week packs an amazing 1 TB of capacity, but our experience with the product was mixed at best.