Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Future of Block Storage in the Cloud

Block storage is extremely good at block access response times and transaction processing and RAS

New York City, what a place. It's always alive. The moment I stepped out of the airport terminal, I knew I was in New York. Three "Private" Limo drivers started following me asking me where I was going, several cab drivers lined up at the curb looking towards me, eager to take me where ever my heart desired I suppose. I eventually hopped in a limo and headed toward my hotel, The Grand Hyatt. I did not stay at the Roosevelt Hotel because it was $100 more per night and during these bad economic times, I figured I needed to save the company $400.00. I have to say I was very disappointed with the food. I had very high expectations of NYC food. No, this was not my first time, but the first time not visiting a relative. I was free to experiment and try different types of food all over Manhattan. I have been to about 70 different cities in 8 years all over the world and NYC is by far the most expensive when it comes to good food. Which doesn't make sense. But then enough about my culinary adventures. Let's talk CLOUDs.

Once I registered and started mingling, everyone who was SOMEONE in Cloud Computing seemed to have swarmed to NYC - Amazon's CTO Dr. Vogels, IBM's Cloud CTO Kloeckner, Sun's Cloud SVP Dave Douglas and myself. Now I am not a Cloud Computing expert by any means. But I am an expert in Block Storage and Storage Infrastructure and I was interested in listening to some of these keynotes and attending several Cloud Storage related sessions to really dig deeper and determine why most were using a "Pizza Box" approach to Cloud Storage or Storage as a Service for public clouds and whether this, Cloud Computing, was the beginning of the end of Block Storage as we know it. While at the conference, I was able to get answers to all of my questions:

Are Storage Clouds or Compute Cloud for everyone?
Probably not. For transactional type databases or I/O, cloud is a very bad idea. For those who want to run 7/24/265 operations, it could actually be more expensive to run the operation on the cloud but that is relative as some offer as low as 10 cents per hour (or was it a month???) for compute with a nice size disk drive (not cloud storage mind you). Again, still not high performance, high capacity, high I/O capable, especially over the cloud (S3 that is).

Do clouds experience outages?
Do clouds lose data? Of course they do. Go to some of the forums and you will read horror stories all over the place. We all remember what happened to Amazon's S3 back in the summer of last year. Why is that? Does that have something to do with "Commodity" components for disks? I can't really say. Mind you, some of the issues I raise here are in some cases extreme but we all need to plan for the worse and hope for the best, especially when it comes to our data. There is something to be said about thoroughly testing code and cross platform interoperability testing performed by industry leading engineers. But that is just my view. That is one reason why Sun's Open strategy works very well because it's not only the few who get to test our code, it's the entire community. The community gets to write device drivers and everyone else gets to test it and comment on it and make it even better.

So what about "INTERNAL CLOUDS"?
Well, my personal feeling is, medium and large organizations who already have well-established datacenter practices and processes will probably jump on the CLOUD concept but more Private than public. New startups and very small business will probably jump on the public cloud to save upfront cost and starting and running the business initially and eventually once their business grows and all of a sudden they need scalability beyond just basic web front end and so on, I think they will look into a traditional, private datacenter or co-loc private cloud. WHY? Because public clouds are "SHARED" without much in terms of resource management among different virtual machines. Most guarantees (SLAs) are primarily geared towards uptime and nothing much else. If someone wants to actually be guaranteed specific CPU, memory and I/O at ALL times, they are going to have to start paying higher dollars as opposed to an Amazon EC2 type cloud.

This is where I think virtualization technologies that have specific distributed resource management technologies built in come into play: VMware VI3 and soon-to-be-released VI4 with very cool new features that I can't really comment on right now due to NDA. Sun xVM | Server of course and others such as MS Hyper-V. All offer resource management tools such as VMware DRS by which pools of CPUs and memory resources along with I/O can be created and managed automagically by the application itself. One could specify how much compute and I/O they want guaranteed and the resource manager tool can set policies, which then go ahead and manage these resource needs for the particular virtual machine. A win-win situation for the Cloud user and the Cloud provider.

This level of control, today, is possible primarily in an internal Cloud with all the cool things which go along with virtualization such as dynamic disaster recovery. Obviously, Storage is at the middle of it all. SHARED storage allows the CLOUD to even Exist. Even if it is commodity storage, it still has to be shared somehow. But for medium to large companies, a private cloud becomes more viable because they can move existing, enterprise class storage resources (such as the Sun Storage 6000 series or the Sun Storage 9900 series), take advantage of built-in technologies such as thin-provisioning (Think provision ONLY what is used and manage the scalability as needed), Remote Replication such as RVM for Sun Storage 6000 series and UVR / TrueCopy for Sun Storage 9900 series for Disaster recovery with integrated tools such as VMware Site Recovery Manager. ZFS can also be used to spread the data across several arrays and several types of arrays.

My Conclusions on the Future of Block Storage in Terms of Cloud
Block storage is extremely good at block access response times and transaction processing and RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability). I do not see enterprise storage going away anytime soon just because we can store TBs of data in the cloud. What matters is what we can and cannot do with the data. Enterprise block storage is here to stay and will continue to do what it does best. But why the push towards "Commodity Storage Components", specifically for public clouds (many many blade servers with large commodity disks)? Cost of course. Huge clouds such as Amazon S3 and others sit on commodity storage for a reason. They do not have to worry about offering high bandwidth, high I/O to the users because the users seem to understand what they can and can't do with Cloud Storage as a Service offerings and they use it as such: Archiving, long term retention and other similar types of usage.

More Stories By Said Syed

Said A. Syed has over 14 years of industry experience, including over 8 years with Sun. Said started with Sun as a System Support Engineer in Chicago supporting high-end and mid-range servers and Sun storage products. Said joined Sun's Storage Product Technical Support group in 2004 as the Sun Support Services global lead for Brocade SAN products. In this position, Said managed the Sun Support Services relationship with Brocade Support Services directly and supported world-wide Sun customers on high visibility, high severity escalations involving SAN infrastructure products and Sun's high-end and low-cost storage products, the Sun Storage 3000 and 9000 series arrays. In 2008, Said was promoted to Staff Engineer role within Sun's NPI and OEM array engineering group and is currently chartered with gaining in-depth understanding of how virtualization applications such as VMware ESX server, the Sun xVM platform, Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, Sun Logical Domains (LDoms), Solaris™ Containers, Cloud Computing, and other similar applications interact with Sun's modular and high-end storage arrays, the Sun Storage 2500, 6000 and 9000 series arrays. Said is a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist - Hyper-V (MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...