Storage at the Edge Q&A

The ability to run analytics from the data center to the Edge, where the data is generated and lives creates new use cases for nearly every business. The impact of Edge computing on storage strategy was the topic at our recent SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative (CSTI) webcast, “Extending Storage to the Edge – How It Should Affect Your Storage Strategy.” If you missed the live event, it’s available on-demand. Our experts, Erin Farr, Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Storage CTO Innovation Team and Vincent Hsu, IBM Fellow, VP & CTO for Storage received several interesting questions during the live event. As promised, here are answers to them all.

Q. What is the core principle of Edge computing technology?

A. Edge computing is an industry trend rather than a standardized architecture, though there are organizations like LF EDGE with the objective of establishing an open, interoperable framework. Edge computing is generally about moving the workloads closer to where the data is generated and creating new innovative workloads due to that proximity. Common principles often include the ability to manage Edge devices at scale, using open technologies to create portable solutions, and of ultimately doing all of this with enterprise levels of security. Reference architectures exist for guidance, though implementations can vary greatly by industry vertical.

Q. We all know connectivity is not guaranteed – how does that affect these different use cases? What are the HA implications?

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Can Cloud Storage and Big Data Live Happily Ever After?

“Big Data” has pushed the storage envelope, creating a seemingly perfect relationship with Cloud Storage. But local storage is the third wheel in this relationship, and won’t go down easy. Can this marriage survive when Big Data is being pulled in two directions? Should Big Data pick one, or can the three of them live happily ever after? This will be the topic of discussion on October 21, 2021 at our live SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies webcast, “Cloud Storage and Big Data, A Marriage Made in the Clouds.” Join us as our SNIA experts will cover:

  • A short history of Big Data
  • The impact of edge computing
  • The erosion of the data center
  • Managing data-on-the-fly
  • Grid management
  • Next-gen Hadoop and related technologies
  • Supporting AI workloads
  • Data gravity and distributed data  

Register today! Our speakers will be ready to take your questions and black-tie is not required for this wedding!

Moving Genomics to the Cloud

The study of genomics in modern biology has revolutionized the discovery of medicines and the COVID pandemic response has quickened genetic research and driven the rapid development of vaccines. Genomics, however, requires a significant amount of compute power and data storage to make new discoveries possible. Making sure compute and storage are not a roadblock for genomics innovations will be the topic of discussion at the SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative live webcast “Moving Genomics to the Cloud: Compute and Storage Considerations.”

This session will feature expert viewpoints from both bioinformatics and technology perspectives with a focus on some of the compute and data storage challenges for genomics workflows. 

We will discuss:

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Extending Storage to the Edge

Data gravity has pulled computing to the Edge and enabled significant advances in hybrid cloud deployments. The ability to run analytics from the datacenter to the Edge, where the data is generated and lives, also creates new use cases for nearly every industry and company. However, this movement of compute to the Edge is not the only pattern to have emerged. How might other use cases impact your storage strategy?

That’s the topic of our next SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative (CSTI) live webcast on August 25, 2021 “Extending Storage to the Edge – How It Should Affect Your Storage Strategy” where our experts, Erin Farr, Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Storage CTO Innovation Team and Vincent Hsu, IBM Fellow, VP & CTO for Storage will join us for an interactive session that will cover:

  • Emerging patterns of data movement and the use cases that drive them
  • Cloud Bursting
  • Federated Learning across the Edge and Hybrid Cloud
  • Considerations for distributed cloud storage architectures to match these emerging patterns
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Why Cloud Standards Matter

Effective cloud data management and interoperability is critical for organizations looking to gain control and security over their cloud usage in hybrid and multicloud environments. The Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI™), also known as the ISO/IEC 17826 International Standard, is intended for application developers who are implementing or using cloud storage systems, and who are developing applications to manage and consume cloud storage. It specifies how to access cloud storage namespaces and how to interoperably manage the data stored in these namespaces. Standardizing the metadata that expresses the requirements for the data, leads to multiple clouds from different vendors treating your data the same.

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Pay Attention to These Cloud Standards

What’s going on in the world of cloud standards? Since the initial publication of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing in NIST SP 800-145 in 2011, international standards development organizations (SDOs) have sought to refine and expand the cloud computing landscape. On February 13, 2020 at our next live SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative webcast “Cloud Standards: What They Are, Why You Should Care” we will dive into the cloud standards worth noting as Eric Hibbard, standards expert and ISO editor, will discuss:

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What the “T” Means in SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies

The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) has had a rebrand; we’ve added a T for Technologies into our name, and we’re now officially the Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative (CSTI).

That doesn’t seem like a significant change, but there’s a good reason. Our old name reflected the push to getting acceptance of cloud storage, and that specific cloud storage debate has been won, and big time. One relatively small cloud service provider is currently storing 400PB of clients’ data. Twitter alone consumes 300PB of data on Google’s cloud offering. Facebook, Amazon, AliBaba, Tencent – all have huge data storage numbers.

Enterprises of every size are storing data in the cloud. That’s why we added the word “technologies.” The expanded charter and new name reflect the need to support the evolving cloud business models and architectures such as OpenStack, software defined storage, Kubernetes and object storage. It includes data services, orchestration and management, understanding hyperscale requirements and the role standards play.

So what do we do? The CSTI is an active group that publishes articles and white papers, speaks at industry conferences and presents at highly-rated webcasts that have been viewed by thousands. You can learn more about the CSTI and check out the Infographic for highlights on cloud storage trends and CSTI activities.

If you’re interested in cloud storage technologies, I encourage you to consider joining our group. We have multiple membership options for established vendors, startups, educational institutions, even individuals. Learn more about CSTI membership here.

Evaluator Group to Share Hybrid Cloud Research

In a recent survey of enterprise hybrid cloud users, the Evaluator Group saw that nearly 60% of respondents indicated that lack of interoperability is a significant technology issue that they must overcome in order to move forward. In fact, lack of interoperability was the number one issue, surpassing public cloud security and network security as significant inhibitors.

The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) is pleased to have John Webster, Senior Partner at Evaluator Group, who will join us on December 12th for a live webcast to dive into the findings of their research. In this webcast, Multi-Cloud Storage: Addressing the Need for Portability and Interoperability, my SNIA Cloud colleague, Mark Carlson, and John will discuss enterprise hybrid cloud objectives and barriers to adoption. John and Mark will focus on cloud interoperability within the storage domain and the CSI’s work that promotes interoperability and portability of data stored in the cloud. Read More

Expert Answers to Cloud Object Storage and Gateways Questions

In our most recent SNIA Cloud webcast, “Cloud Object Storage and the Use of Gateways,” we discussed market trends toward the adoption of object storage and the use of gateways to execute on a cloud strategy.  If you missed the live event, it’s now available on-demand together with the webcast slides. There were many good questions at the live event and our expert, Dan Albright, has graciously answered them in this blog.

Q. Can object storage be accessed by tools for use with big data?

A. Yes. Technically, access to big data is in real-time with HDFS connectors like S3, but it is  conditional on latency and if it is based on local hard drives, it should not be used as the primary storage as it would run very slowly. The guidance is to use hard drive based object storage either as an online archive or a backup target for HDFS.

Q. Will current block storage or NAS be replaced with cloud object storage + gateway?

A. Yes and no.  It’s dependent on the use case. For ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) uses, only the aged and infrequently accessed data is moved to the gateway+cloud object storage, to take advantage of a lower cost tier of storage, while the more recent and active data remains on the primary block or file storage.  For file sync and share, the small office/remote office data is moved off of the local NAS and consolidated/centralized and managed on the gateway file system. In practice, these methods will vary based on the enterprise’s requirements.

Q. Can we use cloud object storage for IoT storage that may require high IOPS?

A. High IOPS workloads are best supported by local SSD based Object, Block or NAS storage.  remote or hard drive based Object storage is better deployed with low IOPS workloads.

Q. What about software defined storage?

A. Cloud object storage may be implemented as SDS (Software Defined Storage) but may also be implemented by dedicated appliances. Most cloud Object storage services are SDS based.

Q. Can you please define NAS?

A. The SNIA Dictionary defines Network Attached Storage (NAS) as:

1. [Storage System] A term used to refer to storage devices that connect to a network and provide file access services to computer systems. These devices generally consist of an engine that implements the file services, and one or more devices, on which data is stored.

2. [Network] A class of systems that provide file services to host computers using file access protocols such as NFS or CIFS.

Q. What are the challenges with NAS gateways into object storage? Aren’t there latency issues that NAS requires that aren’t available in a typical Object store solution?

A. The key factor to consider is workload.  If the workload of applications accessing data residing on NAS experiences high frequency of reads and writes then that data is not a good candidate for remote or hard drive based object storage. However, it is commonly known that up to 80% of data residing on NAS is infrequently accessed.  It is this data that is best suited for migration to remote object storage.

Thanks for all the great questions. Please check out our library of SNIA Cloud webcasts to learn more. And follow us on Twitter @SNIACloud for announcements of future webcasts.

 

How Gateways Benefit Cloud Object Storage

The use of cloud object storage is ramping up sharply especially in the public cloud, where its simplicity can significantly reduce capital budgets and operating expenses. And while it makes good economic sense, enterprises are challenged with legacy applications that do not support standard protocols to move data to and from the cloud.

That’s why the SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative is hosting a live webcast on September 26th, “Cloud Object Storage and the Use of Gateways.”

Object storage is a secure, simple, scalable, and cost-effective means of managing the explosive growth of unstructured data enterprises generate every day. Enterprises have developed data strategies specific to the public cloud; improved data protection, long term archive, application development, DevOps, Data Science, and cognitive artificial intelligence to name a few.

However, these same organizations have legacy applications and infrastructure that are not object storage friendly, but use file protocols like NFS and SMB. Gateways enable SMB and NFS data transfers to be converted to Amazon’s S3 protocol while optimizing data with deduplication, providing QoS (quality of service), and efficiencies on the data path to the cloud.

This webcast will highlight the market trends toward the adoption of object storage and the use of gateways to execute a cloud strategy, the benefits of object storage when gateways are deployed, and the use cases that are best suited to leverage this solution.

You will learn:

  • The benefits of object storage when gateways are deployed
  • Primary use cases for using object storage and gateways in private, public or hybrid cloud
  • How gateways can help achieve the goals of your cloud strategy without
    retooling your on-premise infrastructure and applications

We plan to share some pearls of wisdom on the challenges organizations are facing with object storage in the cloud from a vendor-neutral, SNIA perspective. If you need a firm background on cloud object storage before September 26th, I encourage you to watch the SNIA Cloud on-demand webcast, “Cloud Object Storage 101.” It will provide you with a foundation to get even more out of this upcoming webcast.

I hope you will join us on September 26th. Register now to save your spot.