cloud computing, funny devices and cloud designIf you’ve been paying attention to what is happening all around us, it’s plain to see that as far as cloud computing is concerned we are still in a transitional phase. In most of the conversations, fast provisioning of computer resources and automated deployments take up all the time. But when you look at end user experience and satisfaction or the quickest ROI, it is the private cloud storage that pulls in most of the enthusiasm and tangible results. Especially if the organization is a traditional enterprise heading towards the mobile computing era.
At the same time, traditional storage is quickly becoming a huge issue for organizations that are becoming ever more distributed in terms of location as well as in the number and variety of devices involved in any process that includes data creation, movement or transformation.

Looking at a modern storage strategy

Object storage, as part of a comprehensive strategy, is the key to effectively managing next generation data services and private cloud storage at a reasonable cost and with minimal effort. In fact, thanks to its characteristics, it’s possible to manage PBs of data instead of tens or hundreds of TBs per System Administrator and the use cases back this up.

Both enterprises and xSPs can leverage Object Storage to:
● give modern applications direct access to storage resources through APIs;
● create repositories for VM templates/images (i.e. Private IaaS);
● provision storage resources for modern services to local and remote offices and clients.

And these are just the first examples that pop into my mind. The last use case I mentioned is particularly compelling for many organizations. The ability to provide private Sync & Share, distributed NAS and VTL gateways, starting from a single multi-tenant back-end platform, is a huge driver for innovation and cost savings.

Object storage characteristics allow administrators to easily implement a much stronger and more resilient infrastructure that can easily help to redesign data protection and Disaster Recovery plans for most of secondary and distributed data in the organization, or can also help to create innovative services for providers. The key is the distributed and flexible architecture, policy-based automation and multi-protocol access. When correctly implemented, all these features together enable organizations to build infrastructures where:

● Data is always available and accessible, no matter what kind of disaster or location;
● Object storage can be a secondary file-based storage for VMs and data sets (especially if the right caching technology is available on the server side);
● Data, and related VMs, can be moved to slower or near-line repositories, freeing more valuable resources in a function of specific workload and business needs (decommission of a set of VMs that could be needed again in the future, VMs and project archiving, near-line repositories for entire applications stacks, template store and so on);

A, good, practical example: DDN WOS 360

wos9960_quick_factsDDN WOS 360 is part of one of the most integrated storage line-ups in the market, making this product an interesting solution for private cloud deployments.

S3 and Swift API compatibility give the developers tools that they are already familiar with and use in the public cloud and many gateways/applications already leverage these same APIs, simplifying adoption and making it easier to find solutions for many types of applications.

This type of storage platform can provide multiple data protection schemes in the same installation, ranging from object replication to erasure coding, and they can be mixed for the best data protection efficiency and performance. This capability gives the end-user maximum freedom of choice in terms of performance and data availability.

WOS 360 can also be deployed of a larger infrastructure capable of concurrently serving different kinds of workloads, protocols and forms of data protection. Its integration with Parallel File Systems, legacy protocols via gateways, and front-end caching solutions (like IME) can make its introduction in the datacenter almost seamless and riskless.

Closing the circle

DDN, thanks to its integrated product line-up, can provide an end-to-end solution to any kind of private cloud deployment.
Thanks to the flexibility of this kind of integrated multi-tier approach and OpenStack expertise, DDN can serve any large sized organization in implementing an effective private cloud strategy. WOS 360 object storage is a fundamental piece in the overall picture enabling a better user experience and improving data accessibility while saving money and precious resources in the IT budget.

[Disclaimer: DDN is a client of Juku consulting. DDN has also invited me to attend SC15, they paid for travel and accommodation, I have not been compensated for my time and am not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content won’t be reviewed, approved or edited by any other person than the Juku team.]