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Why Object Storage Matters in Today's Storage Environment


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As companies struggle to manage the data explosion in an era of tight IT spending, traditional approaches are failing while IT managers' blood pressure are rising. The presentation by 451 Research Group's Simon Robinson and Cloudian's Jay Desai covers enterprise IT's best strategy for solving its mounting storage woes: object storage.

Traditional approaches to enterprise storage such as SAN and NAS can be costly, especially for data that needs to be retained but is seldom accessed, while tape-based storage increasingly does not meet enterprise requirements in an 'on-demand' era. However, object-based storage systems are emerging as a new category in enterprise storage, allowing organizations to store vast quantities of data 'online,' and at a price point that won't break the bank.

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Why Object Storage Matters in Today's Storage Environment

  1. 1. Object Storage – an overview, and why it matters Simon Robinson, Research Vice President
  2. 2. Company Overview  One company with 3 operating divisions  Syndicated research, advisory, professional services, datacenter certification, and events  Global focus  200+ staff  1,300+ client organizations: enterprises, vendors, service providers, and investment firms  Organic and growth through acquisition
  3. 3. Unique combination of research, analysis & data Emerging tech market segment focus Daily qualitative & quantitative insight Analyst advisory & Go-to-market support Global events
  4. 4. Agenda – the what and why of Object Storage  Introduction – data challenges in an age of austerity  Why object storage offers a different approach  How does object storage work?  Where might it fit in your environment?  Considerations when choosing a system and suppliers
  5. 5. Data is BIG, and getting BIGGER… but IT budgets are not KB 1980s MB 1990s GB -TB 2000s PB 2010s ZB…? 2020s
  6. 6. Storage overhead remains a major challenge What are your top storage-related pain points?* n=249. *Note that due to multiple responses per interview, totals may exceed 100%. Source: Storage – Wave 16 |
  7. 7. Not only more data, but… …more devices, and ‘things’ …more unstructured data …more data copies …in more places …more lawsuits and regulation …and keep everything forever! Time for a fresh look at storage infrastructure
  8. 8. Challenges with Traditional Enterprise Storage Existing approaches have limitations:  SAN – $$$ and not designed for unstructured content  NAS – $$, and siloed  Tape - $, an ‘offline’ medium  Disk-based backup - $, hard to scale, not designed for archive Plus:  Scale issues  Complex provisioning/management  Typically not ‘cloud friendly’  Backup and archive treated as one and the same  Data needs to be stored on most cost- appropriate platform
  9. 9. Storage is diverging High capacity, low speed disk Cool, infrequently accessed data High speed solid state storage (Flash) Hot, frequently accessed data
  10. 10. Software Defined Object Storage to the Rescue?
  11. 11. Let’s start with a definition “An object store raises the level of abstraction presented by today's block devices. Instead of presenting the abstraction of a logical array of unrelated blocks, addressed by their index in the array (i.e., their Logical Block Address (LBA)), an object store appears as a collection of objects. An individual object is a container of storage (object-data and object-meta-data) that exposes an interface similar to a file, and presents the abstraction of a sparsely allocated array of bytes indexed from zero to infinity. “ IBM Research
  12. 12. What does this mean in Plain English? In general, Object Storage:  Is optimized for fast growing but rarely changing and infrequently accessed ‘bulk’ content  Is generally simpler than traditional storage; • Scale-out architecture – start small and grow to PB+ • ‘Self-managing’ • Requires less storage expertise  Utilizes commodity hardware - can be both low-cost and very dense • Potentially lower energy costs and smaller datacenter footprint  Is accessed via APIs • (though file gateways are available)  Frees up capacity on tier 1 storage
  13. 13. Understanding Object Storage – some common questions  Is object storage a new technology? • Yes, and no • Extensively used in healthcare (PACS) • Object storage standard in cloud services • Over 2 Trillion objects on Amazon S3  What’s the difference between File Storage (NAS) and Object Storage? • Self Parking vs Valet Parking  What’s so good about object-level focus? • Object-specific metadata • Object-specific data access • Object-specific data protection
  14. 14. When should you consider Object-based storage?  You have lots (and lots) of files, and growing • View it as NAS augmentation rather than replacement • But the starting point can be relatively small  Planning a major storage refresh, new datacenter/consolidation project  Looking to reduce/eliminate tape infrastructure • Transition to ‘online’ archive strategy  Developing cloud-based applications, and/or using private/public cloud infrastructure services (eg AWS, OpenStack, CloudStack)  Significant mobile data access requirements and need a central storage facility  You’re starting to look at ‘Big Data’ projects
  15. 15. Key Evaluation Criteria  Choice of commodity hardware  Application compatibility  Easy to deploy and manage  Private cloud compatible  Data protection capabilities
  16. 16. Thank you @simonrob451
  17. 17. Jay Desai Vice President of Product Management, Cloudian © Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2012, All rights reserved. 17
  18. 18. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Cloudian Company Overview • Privately Held, VC-funded (Goldman Sachs) • Offices in Silicon Valley, Japan & China • Customers in US, Europe & APJ • Software company focused on Cloud Storage for Enterprise & Service Providers • Expertise in Storage, Big Data, Enterprise Software & Telco 18
  19. 19. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Cloudian Vision Help organizations address their big data & cloud storage challenges by providing software to build private or public clouds using commodity servers. Using Cloudian software, organizations will be able to operate their storage clouds with minimal IT involvement. Our approach will significantly reduce the cost of deploying and managing large storage cloud environments making “Storage-as-a-Utility” a reality! 19
  20. 20. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Cloudian – Software-Defined Storage • Multi-Tenant, Object Storage Software • Private or Public Cloud • Full S3-API Compatibility • Multi-Datacenter Capabilities • Compatible with CloudStack & OpenStack 20
  21. 21. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Choose Your Preferred Hardware • Cloudian is hardware agnostic • Servers – Cisco, Dell, IBM, Supermicro, etc. • Storage – Internal storage or network storage 21
  22. 22. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. 350+ Compatible Applications 22 BACKUP & ARCHIVE NAS GATEWAYS CLOUD FILE SYNC & SHARE
  23. 23. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Easy to Deploy & Manage • Complete software package (Linux application) • Self-managing, self-healing, self-replicating, completely elastic • Management console – Multi-Tenant User management – Self-service provisioning – Usage reporting & chargeback • Admin API to integrate into custom portals 23
  24. 24. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Multi-Datacenter Data Protection • Node, Rack, Data-center aware replication • Flexibility – synchronous, asynchronous or quorum based • Choice of number of copies • Dynamic replication levels 24 DC1 DC2 DC3 Multi-DC, Configurable Replication
  25. 25. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Private Cloud Compatible • Cloudian as Secondary storage for OpenStack & CloudStack – Store ISO’s, Snapshots & backups • Provision Cloudian as primary storage in an OpenStack & CloudStack deployment 25
  26. 26. (c) Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2013, All rights reserved. Test Drive Cloudian Object Storage Software • Full feature evaluation software available for download at • Contact us with questions! 26
  27. 27. Thank You © Copyright and Confidential, Cloudian Inc. 2012, All rights reserved. 27