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Object Storage Not Yet Defined
Agreed that object storage platforms scale better than file systems & NAS

The ExecEvent Object Storage Summit earlier this month continued to generate buzz on the industry, which is very exciting. Amplidata was represented – in spirit – at the Summit by our partners Intel and Quantum; due to an insane travel and show schedule this fall that kept us from attending personally.  We’re grateful for the mention in Storage Switzerland’s sponsor briefing articles. Very cool! With all the great stuff that has been happening for Amplidata lately, including the awesome performance test results by Howard Marks, we felt a bit like we were missing our own birthday party. We’ll be there next time!

The event fostered a few “What is Object Storage?” posts from, amongst others, George Crump. Jim O’Reilly also posted a very interesting article, although I’m not sure if he was at the event. If he wasn’t, he should be next time!

Both articles add to the body of knowledge that is rapidly evolving on what object storage is, and why customers should adopt it – so, every article helps. With a topic as technical as object storage, it’s easy to evangelize with a deep technical dive.  But that misses the “elegant simplicity” point.  Hence we love George’s use of the car park analogy which we ourselves often embrace.  His article was a helpful at-a-glance overview.  On a more technical level, Jim’s explanation of such concepts as immutable blobs, “the original version is the only version”, objects still look like files etc. offer more on how object storage really works. George’s analysis on how “Objects are given unique ID numbers” is what’s missing in Jim’s article. I guess, what we’re saying is “read both articles.”

But read them critically, and you will see that we’re not there yet. As you can read in Jim’s article, the paradigm has been around much longer than many of us know and we’re not complete in defining the best use cases, implementations, architectures, etc. For example, I’m not at all sure about the reduced metadata George writes about. I believe that over time, as we start using richer applications, we will be storing more metadata, not less. To me, Jim’s statement “To be an object, a blob of data needs a much more detailed descriptor record than what file systems use.” is more accurate.

Both articles also cover the “why” of Object Storage. I’m not sure I see the use of Jim’s deduplication paragraph, and I think we are missing erasure coding as an alternative to RAID in his article (replication can be expensive too!). Jim accurately mentions that block storage was I/O focused, but omits the exceptional throughput performance some of the object stores deliver. A good thing is that Jim sees the scalability, flexibility and cost-saving opportunities. Finally, I very much like his use cases: Google Picasa, Amazon S3, Genome etc. and it is very interesting to read that Jim sees potential for object storage in the Big Data analytics space.

So back to George’s take on why we need object storage. Agreed that object storage platforms scale better than file systems & NAS but, again, not so much because of the metadata. File systems have different challenges, such as the granularity of the hardware, limitations on numbers of files or the number of levels in the hierarchy. Distributed file systems tried to solve some of these issues, but object storage is just a much simpler approach. Agreed that adding NAS heads is an expensive and not so great solution!

The second topic I thought was interesting was the issue of “bit rot”. Bit rot is a real problem and will lead to data loss with traditional storage technologies, but not every object store will solve that. How I understood it is that it is the underlying data protection scheme that solves the problem of bit rot, not necessarily Object Storage. Erasure Coding detects bit rot and prevents data loss.  I don’t think you could restore the content of an object using the identifier, but maybe there is some really cool technology out there that I don’t know of. As George wrote “The storage system does not need an elaborate RAID protection algorithm nor do its administrators need to suffer through long RAID rebuild cycles”, I think he actually alludes to Erasure Coding but didn’t want to go that deep in this article.

Another interesting point in George’s article is the issue with backups. Once you go into the petabyte range, it becomes very unwieldy to backup data. He mentions the backup window, but add to that the overhead cost. George promotes using the unique IDs to make sure “that there are always copies of each object available on-site and off-site.” Again with the proper underlying protection schemes (erasure coding) you can rule out backups altogether!

I’m sure both George and Jim will appreciate the feedback – I fully agree with the benefits object storage brings to track iterations of files and the paragraph on geo dispersion, which we have termed geo-spreading. Finally, I hope to read some more of George’s thoughts about how object storage can help to monetize archived data as that, to me, is a key argument for this new but then again not so new storage paradigm. This is obviously not the end of the discussion; a lot will and needs to be said about this new paradigm. I’m looking forward to attending the next Object Storage events…

Read the original blog entry...

About Tom Leyden
Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

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Cloud computing has taken over the business world! With almost maniacal focus, single proprietors and Board Directors of the world's largest conglomerates see this new model as a "must do". This rapid shift is, in fact, accelerating. As Jeff Bertolucci observes in "The Shift to Cloud Services Is Happening Faster Than Expected": "According to the sixth annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey, which examines the big-picture trends shaping IT infrastructure delivery and strategy, the move to cloud services is accelerating. The Uptime Institute's February 2016 poll of more than 1,00...
The Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Management, Elizabeth Davis, recently asked me to sit on a Big Data panel at the Direct Sales Association conference. I was given a 5-minute slot to “demystify” Big Data to a non-technical group of about 1,000 people; to help them understand where and how this thing called “Big Data” could help them. Well if you know me, I can barely introduce myself in 5 minutes. But this was particularly challenging for me, as I’m used to talking about Big Data with organizations with at least some level of Big Data experience or understanding (maybe the...
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as process and organization.
Data is an unusual currency. Most currencies exhibit a one-to-one transactional relationship. For example, the quantifiable value of a dollar is considered to be finite – it can only be used to buy one item or service at a time, or a person can only do one paid job at a time. But measuring the value of data is not constrained by those transactional limitations. In fact, data currency exhibits a network effect, where data can be used at the same time across multiple use cases thereby increasing its value to the organization. This makes data a powerful currency in which to invest.
It seems like every day we see reminders of the importance of thorough security testing from all areas of the software world. Security has become an especially critical consideration for APIs in recent years. Organizations rely on APIs to share and receive information - either from a third party or between internal applications - so the level of security between these applications is critical for anyone who uses them.
More than 95 percent of the world’s enterprises rely on SSH user keys to provide administrators and developers an effective means of gaining encrypted access to critical infrastructure: operating systems, applications, payment processing systems, databases, human resource and financial systems, routers, switches, firewalls and other network devices. It is a lifeline of traffic flow within our data centers, our cloud environments and how our third-party vendors and supply chain access our environments. It has done its job quietly and efficiently over the last two decades. Unfortunately, the acc...
Having automated workflows sounds like a sexy thing. And it is. It feels pretty awesome to be able to initiate a process with a button and forget about it while the work gets done. But that doesn’t mean you have to automate every process in your office. I mean, I think people can take care of replacing the copy paper on their own, right? Right? Come on, people. Because automation shouldn’t be blatantly applied to every corner of your business, it’s good to start with a very basic question before you begin. Why? There are a lot of ways to improve your business – why are you looking to autom...
The age of computers is over. You are now living in the age of intelligent processing by just about everything else. Like vacuum tubes and tape drives, desktops and laptops are on their way to becoming odd relics of a distant age, if people remember them at all. That may sound a bit extreme, but the fact is that applications are not married to any technological substrate, not even the most advanced mobile devices. That is why smart developers have already turned their attention to using JavaScript for building out next-generation technology like drone controllers, big data management tools, an...
I’ve heard several clients complain about the curse of “orphaned analytics”; which are one-off analytics developed to address a specific business need but never “operationalized” or packaged for re-use across the organization. Unfortunately, many analytic organizations lack a framework for ensuring that the analytics are not being developed in a void. Organizations lack an overarching model to ensure that the resulting analytics and associated organizational intellectual capital can be captured and re-used across multiple use cases.

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2011west.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcexpo
2011east.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2010west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualization
2010west.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group