While there has never been any shortage of file systems in the enterprise, it is clear the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) has been adopted at a fairly rapid rate and is obviously a leader in the category. In recognition of that new reality, EMC this week announced that it is tightening the integration between EMC Isilon NAS systems and both the distributions of Hadoop made available by Cloudera and Pivotal, the latter being a subsidiary of EMC.
Sam Grocott, senior vice president of marketing for the Emerging Technologies Division at EMC, says that because the Isilon NAS platform was always designed to support Big Data, providing native support for HDFS on that platform is simply a logical extension of EMC’s Big Data storage strategy. In the case of Pivotal, EMC is taking things a step further by bundling an instance of the Hadoop distribution from Pivotal with Isilon NAS storage systems.
From an enterprise IT perspective, Grocott says HDFS support means that IT organizations can now create a single pool of storage that can be accessed by both emerging Hadoop applications and existing applications that require access to the Network File System (NFS).
Grocott says that while most implementations of Hadoop today make use of direct attached storage (DAS), it’s apparent that as Hadoop adoption in the enterprise grows, there will be a need for multiple Hadoop applications to access shared storage resources. To that end, Grocott says the Isilon storage offerings are the only NAS platform capable of supporting those applications.
It’s a little too early to say broadly whether HDFS might be adopted across the enterprise. It’s conceivable that there may soon be applications that invoke HDFS without necessarily making using of the rest of Hadoop. In the meantime, though, it is clear that IT operations teams will soon be making room for HDFS alongside all the other file systems they currently support.