|By Marten Terpstra||
|May 22, 2014 09:00 AM EDT||
The days of completely separate storage network technologies are quickly fading. It feels like it’s only a few years ago that Fiber Channel was the way to create large scale storage networks. Big honking storage devices on a separate network, connected to Fiber Channel switches, connected with Fiber Channel adapters into servers. With 10GbE becoming cost effective and matching or outperforming 2, 4 or even 8Gbit Fiber Channel, Fiber Channel over Ethernet was invented, mostly as a mechanism to allow Ethernet based attachments to existing Fiber Channel installations. It’s a bit clumsy, but it works.
A variety of Ethernet and IP based storage mechanisms have gained significant popularity in the past few years. Storage has become denser and cheaper, and advances in file system technology have made it much more convenient to distribute storage and access it as if it was one large system. Most of the customers we find have a mixture of server co-located storage (typically 4-10 TB per system) to mid size storage arrays in the 10s to 100s of TB that are distributed across the network. Whether it’s NAS, iSCSI, ATA over Ethernet or any other Ethernet or IP based storage technology, it is clear that networked storage is where we are going. Don’t get me wrong, FC and FCoE will be around for a long time to come. Billions of dollars have been invested and those dollars will be protected. But even the bellwether FC storage companies provide ethernet and IP based access to their arrays these days.
Interestingly enough though, while many have made or are making the transition to, dare I call it, traditional network technologies for storage transport, many still create separate, parallel ethernet networks for storage. Servers have multiple NICs, with some of them dedicated to the storage network. The reasons for this separation are fairly straightforward. Storage used to be dedicated, it still is, but now on cheap 10GbE. The people that manage the storage still have the same full control, its still a storage network. All of the management, provisioning and tuning tools apply, all that really happened is a change of the medium. But above all, any time I have had a “why don’t you converge your storage and data network” discussion with a customer, it has almost always comes to a fear of running storage traffic and regular data traffic on the same network. It’s a fear of interference, congestion, perhaps a fear of the unknown “what happens to my storage performance when I run the two on the same network?”
The folks at Network Heresy have spent a few articles on the age old network problem of mice and elephant flows. Combining storage and regular data on the same network will amplify this problem. Storage functions like replication and archiving are extremely likely to be elephant flows and can have quite the impact on the rest of the flows. Perhaps that fear is rational?
There are certainly ways to try and engineer your way through this, but they are awfully complicated. I can create a different class of service for storage traffic, queue it differently, give it different drop preferences and use all the other tricks to try and ease the potential for interference. But still, the data traverses the same links and all we have done is made one more important than the other. Which may be perfectly valid for replication and archiving, but not at all for real time access to storage for regular applications.
So what if you could separate your storage and regular data traffic while on the same, single ethernet? What if you could isolate traffic to and from storage to use specific links, while all other traffic would use other links. Give lowest hop count paths to applications and storage that require the lowest latency, give paths with more latency but more available bandwidth to those replication and archiving flows that are not particularly latency sensitive. You can create a single ethernet network, and still separate your storage traffic and regular data traffic. I have seen solutions that propose a virtualized L2 network to separate the two types, but that only provides logical separation, they still flow across the exact same links, with the potential of interference.
A controller that manages topologies and paths based on end to end visibility and allows you to articulate in fairly abstract terms what you want separated, gives you this option. Having that same controller integrate with the storage management so that this can be fully or partially automated, even better. Think about it, a single storage and data network where you control how converged or diverged the various data streams are is very powerful. We have demonstrated this in the past and there are real solutions based on these capabilities.
We are collectively making the step into network based storage. We should also make the step to run this effectively with maximum performance and minimal interference on a single network. It really can be pretty simple…
[Today's fun fact: Sony was the last major company to stop producing 3.5 inch floppy disks in 2011. In 2009 they still sold 12 million of them. Oh I miss my Commodore VIC-20 with its tape drive.]
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
Jul. 4, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,355
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Jul. 4, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 883
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
Jul. 4, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,861
Live Webinar with 451 Research Analyst Peter Christy. Join us on Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET In a world where users are on the Internet and the applications are in the cloud, how do you maintain your historic SLA with your users? Peter Christy, Research Director, Networks at 451 Research, will discuss this new network paradigm, one in which there is no LAN and no WAN, and discuss what users and network administrators gain and give up when migrating to the agile world of clo...
Jul. 4, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 964
Agile, which started in the development organization, has gradually expanded into other areas downstream - namely IT and Operations. Teams – then teams of teams – have streamlined processes, improved feedback loops and driven a much faster pace into IT departments which have had profound effects on the entire organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Anders Wallgren, Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud, will discuss how DevOps and Continuous Delivery have emerged to help connect dev...
Jul. 4, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,212
"We help to transform an organization and their operations and make them more efficient, more agile, and more nimble to move into the cloud or to move between cloud providers and create an agnostic tool set," noted Jeremy Steinert, DevOps Services Practice Lead at WSM International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 886
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and hig...
Jul. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 912
"AgilData is the next generation of dbShards. It just adds a whole bunch more functionality to improve the developer experience," noted Dan Lynn, CEO of AgilData, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 4, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,004
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 4, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,234
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Jul. 4, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 913
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
Jul. 4, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 844
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
Jul. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,427
"What Dyn is able to do with our Internet performance and our Internet intelligence is give companies visibility into what is actually going on in that cloud," noted Corey Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager at Dyn, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 993
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are ra...
Jul. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 929
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 4, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,459
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
Jul. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 993
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,235
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of pro...
Jul. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,400
[session] Dark Art of Container Monitoring By @Sysdig | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult – let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and liv...
Jul. 4, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 940
"We provide a web application framework for building really sophisticated web applications that run on a browser without any installation need so we get used for biotech, defense, and banking applications," noted Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit (http://DevOpsSummit.SYS-CON.com), held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York
Jul. 4, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,342