There’s More than One Way to Scale Your Storage

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    Flash Storage Architecture: What’s Available and Why It Matters

    The enterprise is becoming obsessed with scale, and for good reason. With Big Data already well inside the horizon, organizations need to ramp up their data handling and storage capabilities in short order or find themselves on the losing end of the service-based economy.

    The cloud, of course, has ample scale, but few organizations are willing to place all of their eggs in the basket of third-party resources, which means private and hybrid infrastructure will need to scale to new heights by the time the decade draws to a close.

    The vendor community, always willing to step up in a crisis, has been pushing out a steady stream of scale-out cloud solutions, running the gamut from all-cloud to open source or integrated hardware/software solutions.

    Scality, for instance, recently teamed up with OVH, a hosted infrastructure provider, to bring out a large-scale storage solution for dedicated private clouds. The system pairs the Scality RING platform with OVH servers to deliver petascale storage pools in support of NAS and object storage environments. The partnership came about, in part at least, because Scality utilizes OVH for its own hosted private cloud needs, which are built around a global fiber optic footprint that delivers guaranteed bandwidth and high security.  

    Meanwhile, Tegile recently released the all-Flash, rack-scale IntelliFlash Cloud Platform designed to quickly ramp storage up for on-premises cloud architectures. The system utilizes a multi-controller cluster architecture with the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface to provide both scale-up and scale-out storage across a shared global namespace. By fostering Flash connectivity on the controller plane, Tegile says it can provide ultra-low latency rivaling local file access even as storage volumes scale into the petabyte range. At the same time, the system is backed by the company’s IntelliCare program that utilizes cloud-based analytics to improve uptime while reducing hands-on management.

    Scale-out Flash is also the goal of Exabox’s new OneBlox 5210 solution. The company says the system provides for rapid deployment of distributed object stores optimized for unstructured data loads in virtual environments. Capable of performance topping 50,000 IOPS per node while maintaining inline deduplication, compression and multi-site remote replication, OneBlox scales to more than 700 TB per cluster for less than 50 cents per GB. The OneBlox architecture also does away with LUN-based volume sizing and data management, enabling seamless and non-disruptive scale across VMware NFS datastores.

    And even as Nutanix struggles to launch as a public company in a difficult IPO market, says investor newsletter Vator, it is still fleshing out its private cloud architecture through acquisitions like PernixData and Both companies are expected to enhance Nutanix’ capabilities in areas like application mobility and workflow automation while at the same time allowing clients to scale storage without expanding physical footprints. PernixData’s FVP Software is essentially a Flash and RAM storage virtualization platform that allows users to scale performance and capacity independently, while provides public-private integration for distributed cloud applications. Both platforms will be integrated into the Nutanix Prism management stack.

    Whether it is on public, private or hybrid clouds, storage will have to scale quickly and at reasonable costs in order to meet the needs of emerging digital processes. Fortunately, deploying and provisioning storage at scale will be much easier in the modular, software-defined world than in traditional infrastructure, and if the systems are designed properly, they should produce much less of a management burden as well.

    Arthur Cole writes about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor of TV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet and as web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.


    Arthur Cole
    Arthur Cole
    With more than 20 years of experience in technology journalism, Arthur has written on the rise of everything from the first digital video editing platforms to virtualization, advanced cloud architectures and the Internet of Things. He is a regular contributor to IT Business Edge and Enterprise Networking Planet and provides blog posts and other web content to numerous company web sites in the high-tech and data communications industries.

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