The Dynamics of Scaling out Storage

    Scaling out storage is all the rage these days, largely because customers have grown tired of having to pay for storage they are not using in advance.

    The issue that many IT organizations don’t understand, says Scale Computing CEO Jeff Ready, is how dynamic some of the so-called scale-out storage architectures may or may not actually be.

    Ready says many storage vendors are trying to embrace the term “scale out” from a marketing perspective, but from a technical perspective, the solutions they offer don’t dynamically discover new storage nodes as they are added to the environment, and more importantly, automatically stripe data across the new and existing storage nodes.

    The way storage is acquired and managed in distributed computing environments is fundamentally changing in the era of the cloud. Gone are the days when IT organizations had to make multi-year commitments to buying storage. Instead, they can now just add storage capacity when they actually need it, as in the case of Scale Computing’s storage products, 1TB at a time.

    To accomplish that, however, Ready says that storage architecture needs to support what is known as wide striping, which allows data to be dynamically stored in multiple disks.

    Some might argue that the shift to scale-out storage is an event that is long overdue. Regardless, it’s becoming clear that way IT organizations provision storage is never going to be the same, which for most IT organizations is going to be a very good thing.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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