Feeds

Levelling the EMC Lightning playing field

Another way to avoid lock-in

High performance access to file storage

Opinion Here's a blogger saying an open industry standard will not be the best way to level the storage array/server flash card playing field and prevent EMC locking in Project Lightning customers, writes Chris Mellor

Certainly he has his own interests here but the general argument is worth paying attention to, in my view. If you disagree flame me, not Ted Sanford. Here's his blog:

Levelling the LIghtning playing field

EMC's Project Lightning will shake up the business because flash-based caching, integrated with underlying storage, can drive a very big shift in the technology landscape. But EMC’s proprietary stack could lock out innovators that don’t have a seat at EMC’s table (or with one of the other big vendors as they follow EMC’s lead).

The open standard you suggest could lead to a different future, without the lock-in (or lock-out) of a proprietary stack. Customers and vendors alike would benefit from a more level playing field.

But an open standard is not the only way to avoid the drawbacks of a closed server-flash-to-storage-array interface. For example, a third party provider with proprietary software but open APIs to storage arrays could deliver the same level playing field. In fact, FlashSoft is delivering this product today.

From our experience, I can tell you that a vendor-neutral software solution can achieve the end result you describe: a more open and larger market. It can do it now, and it can provide an open platform for server-to-storage integration based on enterprise flash.

In the long term, industry organisations may develop interface standards for a “Project Lightning-style” architecture. In the near term, however, the solution will come from a commercial software offering with open APIs. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Time (now): Project Lightning is coming fast. Server and storage competitors need a response now, not a couple of years down the road when a specification has been agreed.

2. Time (future): Rapid technology developments typically outpace standards. Given a choice between maintaining standards compliance and keeping pace with the state of the art, vendors will follow the money.

3. Scope (technology): Project Lightning isn’t just about an interface; it’s about extending the core IP of FAST outside the FAST array. Can an interface standard support diverse data hierarchy models without being too restrictive or to general to be useful?

4. Scope (applications): It’s very early to say how flash in the server will evolve. Should an interface standard support both data tiering and data caching? Read-only and read-write? Low latency storage networks only, or just the high end?

5. Compatibility: We’ve focused on performance, but do we also account for how server-tier memory will support “storage features” like backup, compression and de-dupe?

In short, I would argue that a standard alone will not solve the problem, and that by the time one were ready, the ship will have sailed. But that’s no reason to panic. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.