Feeds

The future of storage is a horror show - just ignore the biz strategists

The simple days are long gone, folks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Blocks and Files Storage was actually simple, before disk-to-disk backup came along and started spoiling the party. Now we need a storage magician to take the horror out of the storage horror show.

Basically there were monolithic arrays at the high-end, dual controller arrays in the middle, and JBOD variations at the bottom; all disk drive arrays. You accessed data blocks via Fibre Channel, or files via Ethernet on the arrays and backed up to tapes. End of.

Now? Let’s see; we have iSCSI block access, FCOE - remember that? - virtual tape library arrays, deduplicating backup arrays, scale-out filer arrays, unified storage arrays, object storage grids, hybrid flash-disk arrays, and as for backup - don’t get me started on data protection.

Too late, I'm already in full flow: replication, either asynchronous and synchronous, snapshots, clones, RAID 5, 6, striping, and object erasure coding.

Then we have thin provisioning, auto-tiering, virtual SANs, caching filer and SAN front-end boxes, VMware poking its nose into the storage area and flash; SSDs and PCIe flash and FlashDIMMs. We have storage inside servers and servers inside storage to run apps faster, sans latency. Oh, and that herd of elephants in the storage room, the cloud and cloud storage gateways.

The classic networked array serving a bunch of servers is getting disaggregated. Performance data is moving to flash, and the flash is moving from SSDs in the array, through flash in the array controller, to all-flash arrays and into servers as PCIe flash cards and FlashDIMMs, with storage memory shared across a set of servers coming.

With that concept who needs a networked storage array at all? Especially if bulk data storage goes to the cloud through cloud storage gateways.

The old certainties have gone away, replaced by massive new uncertainties concerning the direction storage technology will take. There are two fundamentally opposed trends for on-premise storage, convergence and customised storage.

Convergence aims to move different storage use cases onto a single platform, using a software abstraction layer. The ideal is a single storage pony that can do lots of tricks. The opposing trend says we need different storage technologies tailored to different use cases to get maximum performance and efficiency.

Against this background it is virtually impossible for enterprise storage strategists to look over the storage technology field and plot the right course for their organisation long-term, because, in the long term, we don’t know where storage is going. One escape from the dilemma is to move to the cloud - but cloud suppliers fail and lock-in is a perennial concern, alongside trust and reliability.

Storage these days is complex and full of doubt about future options. It’s a horror show. The old simple storage model is broken and there is no going back. There is no new storage model to replace it, only multiple half-formed alternatives. Storage buying decision-makers have become risk-takers, an uncomfortable situation to be in. Get used to it; the simple storage days aren’t coming back, not unless something magical happens.

Anyone seen a storage magician? Anyone? ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'
Public IaaS... something's gotta give - and it may be AWS
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.