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It's the End of Data Storage As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Technological change is finally coming to storage, and it will wipe away the architecture we've come to know over the last few decades. Say goodbye to the "do it all" Fibre Channel SAN storage array and get ready for converged infrastructure, distributed storage, alternative attachments like PCIe, and top-of-rack flash! In this session, Stephen Foskett will explain why this change is inevitable and how it will shake out. You won't recognize what's coming, but it will be faster, cheaper, and more integrated than ever! Delivered at

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It's the End of Data Storage As We Know It 
(And I Feel Fine!) 
Stephen Foskett 
Community Organizer, Tech Field Day
Outline 
Technological change is finally coming to storage, and it will wipe away 
the architecture we've come to know over the last few decades. Say 
goodbye to the "do it all" Fibre Channel SAN storage array and get 
ready for converged infrastructure, distributed storage, alternative 
attachments like PCIe, and top-of-rack flash! In this session, Stephen 
Foskett will explain why this change is inevitable and how it will shake 
out. You won't recognize what's coming, but it will be faster, cheaper, 
and more integrated than ever!
Hello! My Name Is Stephen! 
I’m a storage guy… 
…but I love virtualization too! 
You may know me as “the Tech Field Day guy” 
Or perhaps for some other crazy techie nonsense
Chapter 1: Why Is Storage Like It Is?
Storage Is… 
Data storage – the act of saving information for later use 
Storage is not (necessarily): 
– Disks 
– SCSI 
– Fibre Channel 
– RAID 
– Arrays
Prehistoric Evolution of Storage 
Tape 
• “We can store 
stuff!” 
•Good sequential 
throughput; non-existent 
random 
access 
Disk 
• “Spinning rust” 
•Reasonable 
compromise 
between sequential 
and random 
Disk Array 
• “A bunch of disks 
pretending to be 
one” 
•Faster and 
redundant
Ad

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It's the End of Data Storage As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

  • 1. It's the End of Data Storage As We Know It (And I Feel Fine!) Stephen Foskett Community Organizer, Tech Field Day
  • 2. Outline Technological change is finally coming to storage, and it will wipe away the architecture we've come to know over the last few decades. Say goodbye to the "do it all" Fibre Channel SAN storage array and get ready for converged infrastructure, distributed storage, alternative attachments like PCIe, and top-of-rack flash! In this session, Stephen Foskett will explain why this change is inevitable and how it will shake out. You won't recognize what's coming, but it will be faster, cheaper, and more integrated than ever!
  • 3. Hello! My Name Is Stephen! I’m a storage guy… …but I love virtualization too! You may know me as “the Tech Field Day guy” Or perhaps for some other crazy techie nonsense
  • 4. Chapter 1: Why Is Storage Like It Is?
  • 5. Storage Is… Data storage – the act of saving information for later use Storage is not (necessarily): – Disks – SCSI – Fibre Channel – RAID – Arrays
  • 6. Prehistoric Evolution of Storage Tape • “We can store stuff!” •Good sequential throughput; non-existent random access Disk • “Spinning rust” •Reasonable compromise between sequential and random Disk Array • “A bunch of disks pretending to be one” •Faster and redundant
  • 7. Three Things Storage Arrays Do Well… Acceleration • Aggregation (wide-striping) • Caching (predictive write-back cache) • Tiering (automated SSD tiers) Motion • Local copies (snapshots, mirrors, and data movement) • Remote copies (data replication) Sharing • Multi-client (SAN, NAS) • Multi-protocol (iSCSI/FC/FCoE, NFS/SMB)
  • 8. Ye Olde I/O Path Server = HBA = LUN Arrays can… – Accelerate I/O by predicting and pre-filling the cache – Move and copy data logically as a whole LUN/server – Share data while knowing “who” is accessing it Block-O-Matic ProServer ProServer ProServer
  • 9. Today’s Storage Market Networked Storage Arrays Capacity Performance • SAN and NAS try to strike a balance between capacity and performance optimization – The storage network slows performance but allows sharing – Because they are shared, arrays must offer lots of capacity
  • 10. Chapter 2: How Is Storage Changing?
  • 11. RAID Can’t Keep Up RAID is inflexible RAID is bad at math RAID has no (data) integrity
  • 12. Block Storage Is Stupid* Object = Data in Databases File = Remote Directories Block = Fake Disks • Simple high-level protocols for Create, Read, Update, Delete • Independent of data location, protection, hardware •NAS and file servers handle file translation and organization • Data access uses directory location, filename, offset • Filesystem (driver in the computer) locates files • Protocols: SATA, SCSI, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE, USB, FireWire, thumb drive, etc *I’m being completely serious
  • 13. Moving Beyond Blocks Operating systems already speak “file” – LAN Manager, SMB/CIFS, NFS Hypervisors now speak “file” – VMware = NFSv3 – Hyper-V = SMB3 Applications speak “file” or “object” – File = POSIX, Windows APIs, etc – Object = Amazon S3, etc
  • 14. What Does Virtualization Do? Server ≠ HBA ≠ LUN Arrays see a random stream of data – Acceleration is limited to write-back and “most-recently used” caching – Moves and copies of whole LUNs are less useful – Shared access leads to locking conflicts Block-O-Matic VM Guest VM Guest VM Guest Hypervisor
  • 15. “The I/O Blender” Demands New Architectures Server virtualization throws block I/O into a blender: All I/O is now random! – Caching pre-fetch is confounded – Granular movement is impossible – Shared storage is stymied
  • 16. What About NFS and SMB? File I/O to the Array Arrays get better information but must be specially designed to act on it – Thin provisioning and acceleration can work better – No locking issues – VAAI and VSS may allow per-file movement File-O-Matic VM Guest VM Guest VM Guest Hypervisor
  • 17. Array Integration APIs Hypervisor <-> Array APIs are a partial solution – VMware VAAI = vSphere offloaded copy, snapshots, thin provisioning – Microsoft ODX = Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V offloaded copy & thin provisioning – VMware VASA enhances vSphere automation Block-O-Matic VM Guest VM Guest VM Guest Hypervisor ODX VAAI VASA
  • 18. The Solid-State Storage Fairy Solid State Storage is appearing everywhere! – SSDs in servers and arrays – PCIe cards in servers and arrays – Dedicated appliances and arrays Solid state storage can be used in many different ways – Read-only cache – Read/write cache – Tiered storage arrays – All-solid state arrays ProServer SS D SAN/LAN SS D Some use NAND flash, others use DRAM Stor-O-Matic Super-SSD SS D SS D SS D SS D
  • 19. How Fast Is It? USB2 Drive Memory SATA SSD SATA HDD PCIe Drive File Copy Server Windows Datacenter Rack
  • 20. Chapter 3: What Will Storage Look Like?
  • 21. “Software-Defined”? “Computer” • People use computers • Hardware-oriented, “hold it in your hands” • Complex, user-friendly interfaces “Server” • Computers use servers • Operating system and hypervisor-focused • Standards-based protocol interfaces “Platform” • Applications use platforms • Software-only, “bits and bytes” • Application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • 22. Virtualizing the Controller The whole storage array can be a virtual machine Storage arrays can even run virtual machines Block-O-Matic Front-End I/O ProServer Back-End I/O Hypervisor
  • 23. Distributed Storage Use storage virtualization software to combine local storage resources Distribute data intelligently – Across devices for reliability – Tiered flash + disk Scale with clients No expensive SAN or storage network needed! ProServer ProServer ProServer Shared Storage: Distribution and Protection
  • 24. The Return of Local Storage Block-O-Matic Front-End I/O ProServer Back-End I/O Windows or Hypervisor ProServer ProServer ProServer Shared Storage: Distribution and Protection
  • 25. Where Should Features Live? Software Hardware We need reliability in software or hardware, but not necessarily both – If operating systems don’t provide reliability, scalability, and manageability, then server hardware must – Server virtualization can add these features, so you don’t necessarily need them in hardware! “The marginal cost of reliable hardware is linear while the marginal cost of reliable software is zero.” – Sam Johnston
  • 26. The Distributed Storage Future Capacity Performance • Storage is moving out of the network and closer to the servers – Software manages data sharing – Low-latency connections allow much greater performance – Low-cost JBOD is for bulk storage Distributed Flash Distributed JBOD
  • 27. Disaggregated Storage ProServer ProServer ProServer ProServer ProServer ProServer ProServer Top-of-rack performance Speedy high-performance storage: • InfiniBand • PCIe flash high cost, high performance Bottom-of-rack capacity Scaly capacity-oriented storage: • SAS JBOD • Object store • Cloud gateway low cost, low performance Tied together with software! Flashy! Scaly!
  • 28. Thank You! Stephen Foskett stephen@fosketts.net twitter.com/sfoskett blog.fosketts.net TechFieldDay.com

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