Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast with ECS’

Embrace Digital Transformation with Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) 3.0

Sam Grocott

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at EMC ETD

Digital Transformation is drastically changing the business landscape, and the effects are being felt in every industry, and every region of the world. For some, the goal of this transformation is to use technology to leapfrog the competition by offering innovative products and services. For others, the focus is on avoiding disruption from new market entrants. Whatever your situation might be, it’s clear that you can’t ignore the change. In a recent study by Dell Technologies, 78% of global businesses surveyed believe that digital start-ups will pose a threat to their organization, while almost half (45%) fear they may become obsolete in the next three to five years due to competition from digital-born start-ups. These numbers are a stark indication of the pressure that business leaders are feeling to adapt or fall by the wayside.

But for IT leaders, this raises an uncomfortable question: Where will you find the money to make this transformation? You’re already under constant pressure to lower IT costs. How can you invest in new technologies while still doing this?

Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), Dell EMC’s object storage platform, was built to help organizations with precisely this challenge. After being in market for just under two years, the latest release, ECS 3.0 is being announced at Dell EMC World today. ECS is a next-generation storage platform that simplifies storage and management of your unstructured data, increases your agility, and most importantly, lowers your costs. Let’s take a look at some of the ways ECS can help modernize your datacenter, clearing the way for you to embrace Digital Transformation.

Simplify and Accelerate Cloud-Native Development

The success of companies like Uber and AirBnB has highlighted the transformative power of “cloud native” mobile and web apps. Enterprises everywhere are taking note – in the previously mentioned Dell Technologies survey, 72% of companies indicated that they are expanding their software development capabilities. Often, these software development efforts are directed towards “cloud-native” applications designed for the web and mobile devices.

ECS is designed for cloud-native applications that utilize the S3 protocol (or other REST-based APIs like OpenStack Swift). ECS natively performs many functions like geo-distribution, ensuring strong data consistency and data protection, freeing up application developers to focus on what moves their business forward. This greatly increases developer productivity, and reduces the time to market for new applications that can unlock greater customer satisfaction, as well as new sources of revenue.

Reduce storage TCO and complexity

Legacy storage systems that sit in most enterprise datacenters are struggling to keep up with the explosion in unstructured data. Primary storage platforms are constantly running out of capacity, and it is expensive to store infrequently accessed data on these platforms. Additionally, as many businesses operate on a global scale, data coming in from different corners of the world ends up forming silos, which increase management complexity and lower agility in responding to business needs.
ECS is compatible with a wide range of cloud-enabled tiering solutions for Dell EMC primary storage resources like VMAX, VNX, Isilon and Data Domain.  Additionally, ECS is certified on many 3rd party tiering solutions, which enable it to act as a low cost, global cloud-tier for 3rd party storage platforms. These solutions drive up primary storage efficiency and drive down cost by accessing a lower cost tier with ECS. Tiering to ECS is friction-free, which means that apps or users accessing primary storage don’t have to change any behavior at all.

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Tape Replacement

The new ECS dense compute rack D-series increases storage density by more than 60%, making it an ideal replacement for tape archives. The D-Series comes as an eight node system that provides the highest density configurations for ECS at 4.5PB (D-4500) and 6.2PB (D-6200) in a single rack.

These new configurations provide the low cost and scalability benefits of traditional tape solutions, but without the lack of agility, poor reliability, and operational difficulties associated with storing data on tape.  Additionally, ECS makes business data available to BUs in an on-demand fashion. This allows organizations to fully embrace Digital Transformation, which relies on insights mined from business data to create more compelling experiences for customers.

Legacy application modernization

ECS can serve as an ideal storage platform for organizations looking to modernize legacy LoB applications that utilize or generate a large amount of unstructured data. Modifying legacy apps to point to ECS using the S3 (or other REST-based APIs like OpenStack Swift) protocol can help reduce costs, simplify maintenance of the application, and allow them to scale to handle massive amounts of data.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about how ECS can enable your transformation , follow @DellEMCECS on Twitter, or try it out – for free!

 

 

Breakfast with ECS: Files Can’t Live in the Cloud? This Myth is BUSTED!

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale storage platform.

The trends towards increasing digitization of content and towards cloud based storage have been driving a rapid increase in the use of object storage throughout the IT industry.  However, while it may seem that all applications are using Web-accessible REST interfaces on top of cloud based object storage, in reality, while new applications are largely being designed with this model, file based access models remain critical for a large proportion of the existing IT workflows.

Given the shift in the IT industry towards object based storage, why is file access still important?  There are several reasons for this, but they boil down to two fundamental reasons:

  1. There exists a wealth of applications, both commercial and home-grown, that rely on file access, as it has been the dominant access paradigm for the past decade.
  2. It is not cost effective to update all of these applications and their workflows to use an object protocol. The data set managed by the application may not benefit from an object storage platform, or the file access semantics may be so deeply embedded in the application that the application would need a near rewrite to disentangle it from the file protocols.

What are the options?

The easiest option is to use a file-system protocol with an application that was designed with file access as its access paradigm.

ECS - Beauty FL_resizedECS has supported file access natively since its inception, originally via its HDFS access method, and most recently via the NFS access method.  While HDFS lacks certain features of true file system interfaces, the NFS access method has full support for applications and NFS clients are a standard part of any OS platform, thus making NFS the logical choice for file based application access.

Via NFS, applications gain access to the many benefits of ECS, including its scale-out performance, the ability to massively multi-thread reads and writes, the industry leading storage efficiencies, and the ability to support multi-protocol access, e.g. ingesting data from a legacy application via NFS while also supporting data access over S3 for newer, mobile application clients and thus supporting next generation workloads at a fraction of the cost of rearchitecting the complete application.

Read the NFS on ECS Overview and Performance White Paper for a high level summary of version 3 of NFS with ECS.

An alternative is to use a gateway or tiering solution to provide file access, such as CIFS-ECS, Isilon CloudPools, or third-party products like Panzura or Seven10.  However, if ECS supports direct file-system access, why would an external gateway ever be useful?  There are several reasons why this might make sense:

  • An external solution will typically support a broader range of protocols, including things like CIFS, NFSv4, FTP, or other protocols that may be needed in the application environment.
  • The application may be running in an environment where the access to the ECS is over a slow WAN link. A gateway will typically cache files locally, thereby shielding the applications from WAN limitations or outages while preserving the storage benefits of ECS.
  • A gateway may implement features like compression, thereby either reducing WAN traffic to the ECS, thus providing direct cost savings on WAN transfer fees, or encryption, thus providing an additional level of security for the data transfers.
  • While HTTP ports are typically open across corporate or data center firewalls, network ports for NAS (NFS, CIFS) protocols are normally blocked for external traffic. Some environments, therefore, may not allow direct file access to an ECS which is not in the local data center, though a gateway which provides file services locally and accesses ECS over HTTP would satisfy the corporate network policies.

So what’s the right answer?

The there is no one right answer; instead, the correct answer will depend on the specifics of the environment and of the characteristics of the application.

  • How close is the application to the ECS? File system protocols work well over LANs and less well over WANs.  For applications that are near the ECS, a gateway is an unnecessary additional hop on the data path, though 3d Kugel mit Fragezeichen im Labyrinthgateways can give an application the experience of LAN local traffic even for a remote ECS.
  • What are the application characteristics? For an application that makes many small changes to an individual file or a small set of files, a gateway can consolidate multiple such changes into a single write to ECS.  For applications that more generally write new files or update existing files with relatively large updates (e.g. rewriting a PowerPoint presentation), a gateway may not provide much benefit.
  • What is the future of the application? If the desire is to change the application architecture to a more modern paradigm, then files on ECS written via the file interface will continue to be accessible later as the application code is changed to use S3 or Swift.  Gateways, on the other hand, often write data to ECS in a proprietary format, thereby making the transition to direct ECS access via REST protocols more difficult.

As should be clear, there is no one right answer for all applications.  The flexibility of ECS, however, allows for some applications to use direct NFS access to ECS while other applications use a gateway, based on the characteristics of the individual applications.

If existing file based workflows were the reason for not investigating the benefits of an ECS object based solution, then rest assured that an ECS solution can address your file storage needs while still providing the many benefits of the industry’s premier object storage platform.

Want more ECS? Visit us at www.emc.com/ecs or try the latest version of ECS for FREE for non-production use by visiting www.emc.com/getecs.

Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series – Part 5: Superior Economics

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Hello folks!

Breakfast wtih ECSGlad to have you back on this ECS feature series journey.

In the previous blog of this series, we discussed ECS’ enterprise-class features. In this blog, we’ll discuss why ECS has superior economics.

Entering the public cloud is simple. But as the data you store in the public cloud reaches a certain scale, it becomes simply expensive. You have to pay for every single time you touch your data – you must pay someone else a small fee to store your data, and another fee each time to index it, like it, share it, download it or even to just plain look at it.

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Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series – Part 4: Enterprise Class

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Hello folks!

Welcome back to ECS feature series!Breakfast with ECS Enterprise

In the previous blog of this series, we discussed ECS’ smart capabilities. In this blog, we’ll discuss how ECS is built to serve the needs of enterprises.

When selecting a cloud storage vendor, enterprises have many questions: Is this cloud built for scale? Is it secure? Is it able to handle the different business applications needed for long term business growth? Will it simplify my operational management? We at EMC were thinking these exact things when we introduced ECS.  How can ECS improve your data privacy, manageability and operation efficiency?

Watch the video below and find out the answers.

ECS is enterprise-grade yet has incredibly low storage overhead, and is capable of storing nearly 4 PB of data in a single rack. Stay tuned for the next blog discussing more about ECS’ economical capabilities. Yes! You don’t want to miss it.

Additional resources:

Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series – Part 2: Multi-Purpose

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

BreakfastWelcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Hello folks!

Glad to have you back to this educational journey of Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) features.

In the previous blog of this series, you learned the market trend and why Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is one storage solution that can cater to all of your needs. From this blog, you’ll learn more about the specific features that make ECS so awesome.

As traditional systems capture and store data based on data type, they have to manage different silos of data. While they give you consistency and speed, trying to manage these pools of data is like facilitating a conversation where no one speaks the same language. It’s a path to some serious complexity.

So, here we are! ECS is the one single shared storage that supports billions of files of all types and talks multiple “languages”, such as Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, HDFS and NFS.

Check out today’s video below to learn more about ECS’ multi-purpose capabilities.

ECS is not only designed for multi-purpose, it is also “smart”. Check back for the upcoming blog introducing ECS’ smart features.

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