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Software-Defined Storage
Fact or Fiction?
Austin, 2/2/2016Chris M Evans
Why Software is Eating The World
Expression coined by Marc
Andreessen, founder of
Netscape
2011 Essay in the Wall Street
J...
What Does it Mean?
• Value is moving into software
(greater margins)
• Hardware is becoming more
commodity than ever (thin...
What About Storage?
• Surely this can’t happen to
storage?
• Storage needs hardware, right?
• Storage will always be
deliv...
Storage Has Issues
• Exponential Growth
• Management Overhead
• Cost
• Agility
• Flexibility
Hyperscalers
• What do Google, Facebook and Amazon do?
• Surely they have cracked the storage
problem?
• Good question….
What Do Google Do (2009)?
http://www.cnet.com/news/google-uncloaks-once-secret-server-10209580/
Backblaze – Another Example
Google For the Data Centre?
• Google designs for small number of apps and millions
of users
• Redundancy built into the ap...
Private Data Centres are different
• Google/Facebook/Backblaze
architectures don’t directly
translate to the private data
...
Enter Software Defined Storage
• What could SDS and storage virtualisation give
us?
– Abstract away the hardware issues
– ...
SDS Defined
• Wikipedia defines SDS as:
Software-defined storage (SDS) is an evolving concept for computer data
storage so...
SDS Key Features – My Definition
• Abstraction – I/O services should be delivered independent
of the underlying hardware, ...
SDS – Commodity Hardware?
• Well, D’oh! Obviously!
• Vendors have been moving away from
bespoke hardware for many years
• ...
Bespoke Hardware isn’t bad!
• 3PAR has had custom ASIC since inception and
still uses it to accelerate some functions
• Si...
Storage Virtualisation
• Abstracts the physical storage from the user through the use of logical
LUNs, volumes and shares
...
Storage Virtualisation - Evolution
• Monolithic – single central controller
– Inline in the data path
– Controller maps lo...
What Does SDS & Virtualisation let us do differently?
• Flexibility – let’s end users choose the whole
configuration – inc...
But what’s the negative side?
• Vendors can’t test every hardware combination –
sometimes you will be on your own
• Perfor...
Is Software Defined Storage for Me?
• Well it depends…
• Good Use Cases to dip your toe in the water
– ROBO/SMB – low cost...
Who’s after your business?
• Storage industry is a huge growth area
• New businesses coming to market each year
• So who m...
So, is SDS Fact or Fiction
• SDS is FACT
• It is here today and has been with us for some
time
• The hard part now is deci...
Further Reading
@chrismevans
https://blog.architecting.it
https://www.langtonblue.com
TECHunplugged Austin 2016
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TECHunplugged Austin 2016

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My presentation on software defined storage, presented at TECHunplugged Austin on 2 February 2016.

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TECHunplugged Austin 2016

  1. 1. Software-Defined Storage Fact or Fiction? Austin, 2/2/2016Chris M Evans
  2. 2. Why Software is Eating The World Expression coined by Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape 2011 Essay in the Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460
  3. 3. What Does it Mean? • Value is moving into software (greater margins) • Hardware is becoming more commodity than ever (thinner margins) • Get out of the hardware business! • Get into the software business!
  4. 4. What About Storage? • Surely this can’t happen to storage? • Storage needs hardware, right? • Storage will always be delivered on hardware – won’t it?
  5. 5. Storage Has Issues • Exponential Growth • Management Overhead • Cost • Agility • Flexibility
  6. 6. Hyperscalers • What do Google, Facebook and Amazon do? • Surely they have cracked the storage problem? • Good question….
  7. 7. What Do Google Do (2009)? http://www.cnet.com/news/google-uncloaks-once-secret-server-10209580/
  8. 8. Backblaze – Another Example
  9. 9. Google For the Data Centre? • Google designs for small number of apps and millions of users • Redundancy built into the application • Very read-centric architecture – lots of ability to cache • Internet-based response times • Home grown Software Defined Storage • FREE!!
  10. 10. Private Data Centres are different • Google/Facebook/Backblaze architectures don’t directly translate to the private data centre • Applications have specific SLAs – Availability – Performance • Downtime = MONEY
  11. 11. Enter Software Defined Storage • What could SDS and storage virtualisation give us? – Abstract away the hardware issues – Use abstraction & software to automate provisioning – Opportunity to reduce costs
  12. 12. SDS Defined • Wikipedia defines SDS as: Software-defined storage (SDS) is an evolving concept for computer data storage software to manage policy-based provisioning and management of data storage independent of the underlying hardware. • SNIA defines SDS as: Virtualized storage with a service management interface. SDS includes pools of storage with data service characteristics that may be applied to meet the requirements specified through the service management interface. SDS as a term evolved from SDN, however SDN is fundamentally different as networks don’t have to manage state.
  13. 13. SDS Key Features – My Definition • Abstraction – I/O services should be delivered independent of the underlying hardware, through logical constructs like LUNs, volumes, file shares and repositories. • Automation – resources should be consumed using CLIs and APIs rather than manually allocated through a GUI. • Policy/Service Driven – the service received (IOPS, latency) should be established by policies that implement Quality of Service, availability and resiliency. • Scalable – solutions should enable performance & capacity scaling independent of I/O delivery.
  14. 14. SDS – Commodity Hardware? • Well, D’oh! Obviously! • Vendors have been moving away from bespoke hardware for many years • Intel x86 deployed in EMC Symmetrix in 2009 – VMAX – CLARiiON, Celerra, Centera all Intel Xeon based in 2010 • Hitachi VSP was x86-based in 2011 • Compellent hardware was all commodity
  15. 15. Bespoke Hardware isn’t bad! • 3PAR has had custom ASIC since inception and still uses it to accelerate some functions • SimpliVity has hardware-based de-duplication • Server vendors (e.g. SuperMicro) are creating storage-specific hardware – multi-node, high- drive count systems • Just don’t create a “Homer”…
  16. 16. Storage Virtualisation • Abstracts the physical storage from the user through the use of logical LUNs, volumes and shares • Provides: – Mobility – move physical data around without affecting logical view – Flexibility – re-use existing resources effectively, extend life of legacy assets – Efficiency – use virtualisation controller to implement data services – Lower Cost – can be used to reduce cost of solutions with intelligent design • Storage Virtualisation is 25 Years Old! – First Integrated Cached Disk Array (ICDA) introduced by EMC in 1990 – Abstracted 5.25” drives as logical LUNs with RAID mirroring – We’ve been abstracting data ever since!
  17. 17. Storage Virtualisation - Evolution • Monolithic – single central controller – Inline in the data path – Controller maps logical to “physical” storage – data management features built into the controller – Not highly scalable • Centralised Metadata – Distributed Data – Central metadata functions – Data distributed/replicated across many devices – System not in the data path – Separation of control and data planes • Totally Distributed – No central metadata or data – Data distributed across many devices – Fully scalable architecture
  18. 18. What Does SDS & Virtualisation let us do differently? • Flexibility – let’s end users choose the whole configuration – including hardware components • Agility - easily introduce new features – simple software upgrade to implement more efficient dedupe, or support additional snapshots • Efficiency - reuse old resources – sweat the assets, move data around to the most effective hardware based on price/performance • Transparency – now we can see how much markup vendors were making on the hardware • Deliver Storage as a Service
  19. 19. But what’s the negative side? • Vendors can’t test every hardware combination – sometimes you will be on your own • Performance profiles will be difficult to gauge unless you test yourself • There’s little or no shared experience – unlike analytics an appliance vendor can do across all their customers • SDS doesn’t necessarily fix issues of data migration, data protection, etc (although storage virtualisation helps)
  20. 20. Is Software Defined Storage for Me? • Well it depends… • Good Use Cases to dip your toe in the water – ROBO/SMB – low cost branch deployments with virtualisation – Scale out archive – object or NAS – Hyper-convergence
  21. 21. Who’s after your business? • Storage industry is a huge growth area • New businesses coming to market each year • So who might be knocking on your door? • Bring on the NASCAR slide….
  22. 22. So, is SDS Fact or Fiction • SDS is FACT • It is here today and has been with us for some time • The hard part now is deciding which vendor is right for you and cutting through the marketing hype
  23. 23. Further Reading @chrismevans https://blog.architecting.it https://www.langtonblue.com

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