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Emerging Technologies Across the Storage Landscape

Posted by: Chris Chesley
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Emerging Technologies Across the Storage Landscape

There has been an influx of emerging technologies across the storage landscape. Many vendors are using the exact same hardware but are figuring out ways to do a lot of smarter things with the software. In this post, I’ll cover a handful of vendors who are doing a great job innovating at the software layer to improve storage technology and performance.

Nimble

Nimble was founded by the same people who did Data Domain and does data compression. Their success led to EMC buying them in June 2009. The company is known for its massively popular backup targets. They’re the one of the first ones to compress and duplicate the data as it was being stored to greatly reduce the amount of data that needed to be stored. Essentially, Nimble takes commodity solid state drives and slow 7,200 RPM spinning disks and turns it into an extremely fast, well-performing hybrid SAN, while delivering excellent compression ratios and the best support team in the business. Very simply, they’re doing smarter things with the same technology everyone else is using. It’s highly scalable and well designed. For example, you can change your controllers on the array during business hours with no interruptions, as opposed to having to wait until off hours as companies have been forced to do traditionally.

DataGravity

What’s interesting about DataGravity is that they have taken an entirely different approach to traditional storage. They make arrays that perform on par with just about everyone else’s, yet their secret sauce is taking unstructured, uncategorized data and categorizing it at the time it’s being written. Why is this important? A lot of companies have to keep track of Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, etc. Traditionally, you have to buy expensive software to do this. DataGravity does it at the time the Data is written. You don’t need to invest in any additional software. That sounds too good to be true, right? Every modern SAN has two storage controllers. Most are active passive or they are both on. DataGravity has one controller looking at these traditional things while the other storage controller looks at data, categorizes it and looks at data management functions. This eliminates the need for expensive compliance related software and data protection management.

Who should take advantage?

Any company that has to deal with regulatory compliance (Healthcare, Finance, etc.).

Simplivity

Simplivity offers hyper-converged infrastructure similar to Nuatanix, EVO Rails, and Dell Vertex. The piece that makes them unique is their dedication to reduce IO. They take all data and compress/duplicate at ingestion once and forever. This means that if I write a data block and the data is already on the storage system, there is zero IO; I don’t have to rewrite it. Furthermore, I can migrate virtual machines from one data center to another. It’s easy to migrate a 5 gig virtual machine and write less than a 100 mgs across the WAN. Also, when I clone a machine, there is no IO. IO is something companies can’t address during work hours because it takes up way too many resources and would bring them to their knees. You can’t do it without impacting the business. When you have Simplivity, there is no need for a third party backup vendor. Redundant data spreads through notes and only writes redundant blocks. It’s easy to have petabytes of backups living on terabytes of storage.

Who should take advantage?

We have a client who is currently in Massachusetts that is looking to move to a Colocation Facility in Florida. For this use case, Simplivity is a quick and easy way to migrate that data geographically without huge impacts on bandwidth, WAN costs, etc.

Pure Storage

If you’re looking for ridiculously fast storage, Pure Storage could be the solution for you. They use the same flash technology as everyone else, but they read and write to it differently so it’s much more efficient, optimized, and it matches the flash technology. Typically, vendors have been writing to flash drivers in the same way that they were treating spinning disk.

Who should take advantage?

If your organization has applications that require tremendously fast storage, this could be a good fit for you. One example would be if you have extremely demanding Oracle SAP or SQL applications.

VMware

VMware brings a lot of great benefits to the table with EVO: Rail. EVO: Rail is basically VMware SAN with prebuilt hardware that can very quickly and easily be deployed. It’s a scalable, software-defined data center building block that provides compute, networking, storage and management. Furthermore, it’s highly resilient.

Who should take advantage?

This is a good fit for organizations that have branch offices where there is a need for smaller VMware environments at multiple locations. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to manage them centrally from a virtual center.

 

Be sure to keep your eyes out for HP who is making innovations in flash storage. More on that soon.

Have you used any of these solutions? How have your experiences been? If you would like to talk more about this, send us an email at socialmedia@greenpages.com

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