Posts Tagged ‘object based storage’

Digital Transformation with Radical Simplicity

Corey O'Connor

Senior Product Marketing Manager at Dell EMC² ETD

Digital Transformation with Radical Simplicity

Welcome to another edition of the Emerging Technologies ECS blog series, where we discuss topics related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), Dell EMC’s cloud-scale storage platform.

The Inflection Point

It’s no surprise that unstructured data continues to grow exponentially year over year and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Some organizations are left managing this data with traditional storage infrastructure which is not only very expensive, but does not scale at the rate in which the data is growing.  IT budgets continue to remain flat or grow at an ungenerous rate of about 5% annually and capital expenses tend to double almost every year for most organizations.  The other pressing issue is the requirement of somehow maintaining the same (if not better) level of service with fewer resources as data growth continues to strain storage infrastructure.  This type of trend is not sustainable and if certain organizations do not transform their business then they will struggle without question.  We know what you’re thinking – wouldn’t it be great if the world’s largest provider of data storage systems created a cost effective, cloud-scale solution to solve this enterprise level challenge?

Dell EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS)

Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is Dell EMC’s 3rd generation object-based storage system that provides the ability to:

  • Consolidate primary storage resources and elevate ROI
  • Modernize traditional and legacy applicationsfor better storage utilization
  • Accelerate cloud native applications to deliver new business value

ECS delivers a multipurpose platform that satisfies a variety of different use cases and plugs in perfectly to almost any existing Dell EMC investment(s). ECS singlehandedly simplifies management, increases agility, and most importantly – lowers costs.  At scale, ECS is undoubtedly one of the most cost effective solutions available in the market today.  In fact, analyst Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently conducted a survey that shows ECS provides a 60% or greater cost advantage compared to other leading public cloud providers.   

ECS extends the cloud to primary storage and allows you to free up your infrastructure through Dell EMC cloud-enabled solutions (e.g. CloudPools, CloudBoost, CloudArray, etc.).  Customers have the ability to seamlessly tier colder, inactive workloads from existing primary storage investments (e.g. Isilon, VMAX Series, VPLEX, VNX Series, Vx Series, Data Domain, Data Protection Suite, etc.) to ECS.  This resource consolidation eliminates the need to purchase additional, more expensive platforms and better utilizes the infrastructure you have in your storage environment today.

An object-based platform like ECS can drastically increase responsiveness and better secure data when you compare it to that of a traditional NAS system.  Data is protected using erasure coding and the chunks of data are then geo-distributed across all nodes within the system providing instant read/write access from any location.  Strong consistency semantics ensures only the most recent copy of data is accessed simplifying application development efforts.  A geo-caching capability further enhances responsiveness through intelligent system recognition of access patterns which minimizes WAN traffic and improves system latency.

ECS provides simple and easy access to applications through a single global namespace.  This makes it easy for developers not having to deal with complex NFS file systems – they can focus on app development and not the operations and implementation details behind it.   By modernizing traditional applications into an object store, users get fast and easy provisioning, direct access to content over the web via HTTP, global accessibility through a single namespace, and the absolute best utilization of storage resources in the datacenter.

Cloud-native applications take full advantage of a cloud system framework.  ECS’ architecture is completely software defined with total abstraction from the north and southbound allowing compute and storage resources to scale independently from each other.  Everything within ECS is containerized and there are no hardware dependencies or the need to re-code, re-tool or reconfigure applications as ECS provides multi-protocol support. This allows developers to innovate and deliver their applications to market at a much quicker rate.

Bridging the Gap

Enterprises and cloud service providers alike can leverage ECS as a way to fund their ‘digital transformation’ as traditional, line-of-business applications go into decline and cloud-native apps begin to surge over the next decade.  ECS bridges the gap between Platform 2 (traditional) and Platform 3 (next-gen) applications on a single storage system.  Not only can ECS easily handle the extraordinary amount of unstructured data that’s growing, but as a multi-purpose platform it can serve up all the many different workloads you currently manage today and ready your organization for what the future throws at you.

Enterprise Strategy Group on ECS: Meet data growth challenges with software-defined object storage

“This new era of massive content storage environments requires a new storage architecture, object storage.” That’s the view of Scott Sinclair, Storage Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in its October 2015 whitepaper: “EMC Elastic Cloud Storage Offers Resilient Scalability for the New Generation of Workloads”. Let’s explore why ESG believes object storage is an essential enterprise technology.

Identifying The Challenges Of Data Growth

Managing today’s ever-growing quantities of (mostly unstructured) data is a constant challenge for most enterprises – a fact that ESG underlines in its whitepaper. ESG asked 373 IT decision-makers: “What are your organization’s biggest challenges in terms of its storage environment?

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The rapid growth of data was cited as a top challenge by 26% of IT decision-makers, which ESG says should not be a surprise. However, what may be more surprising is that all the other top challenges – including increased hardware costs, data protection costs, and staffing costs – can also be considered symptoms of data growth.

Why The Industry Is Moving To Object Storage

ESG says that object-based storage offers a strong solution to meet the multiple challenges created by data growth. It represents an evolution in the ability to store unstructured data, with near limitless scalability. Object storage also offers automatic geo-dispersed data protection and the ability to leverage commodity hardware, making it an ideal storage environment for a new generation of IT workloads.

To discover more about what attracts IT decision-makers to object storage, ESG also asked: “Which factors are responsible for your organization’s initial deployment or consideration of object storage technology?”

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As ESG reveals, across the wide variety of potential use cases for object storage, organizations are turning to the technology to help control TCO in the wake of rising digital content levels. But of those potential use cases, more organizations are looking to object storage as the foundation for the next generation of modern and cloud-based workloads.

Evaluating ECS Object Storage Advantages

ESG says that EMC’s object storage solution Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) delivers key features for object storage, such as:

  • Software-defined architecture leveraging commodity components
  • A strongly consistent, global scale-out namespace
  • In-place Hadoop analytics with HDFS support
  • Support for S3 and OpenStack APIs
  • Combined erasure-coded and replication-based protection
  • Built-in journaling, snapshots, and versioning
  • Multi-tenant architecture
  • Flexible deployment models
  • On-premises data security

Today’s Demanding Workloads Are Ripe For ECS

As ESG comments: The next generation of workloads is looking to be even more dependent on larger levels of digital content than ever before, and therefore needs the next generation of storage.” Highlighted workload areas where ECS can help improve TCO and ROI for organizations include:

  • Foundation for a cloud storage solution: ECS supports your deployment of a cloud infrastructure with its ability to dynamically allocate resources – and to report on how they are being leveraged. Its potential for nearly infinite scalability along with its ability to leverage commodity hardware help keep cloud infrastructure costs low.
  • Data lake for business analytics: ECS offers the ability to pool all your data into a single globally distributed repository for business analytics to derive new value, while its multi-protocol access reduces the need to move data back and forth for analysis.
  • Global content repository: Offering a single scalable, resilient, and cost-effective pool that can serve multiple application and content types, ECS enables all the content within the repository to be globally accessible by web, mobile, and cloud applications – at up to 65% lower cost than public cloud.
  • Universal object storage platform for Internet of Things (IoT) with in-place analytics: The geo-distributed strong consistency of ECS provides the ability to collect and store IoT sensor data in locations closer to the actual “things,” which improves performance and saves cost.
  • Modern application development: The scale and automatic geographic accessibility of ECS can provide significant benefits for developing your modern applications, especially those that require access to a large pool of read-only content.
  • Cold storage archive: ECS-based archiving controls the growth of unstructured data by migrating “cold” data off of high-performing and more expensive storage – while allowing for the data to remain online and accessible.

The Next-Generation Object Storage Platform

As ESG concludes: “Object storage is designed for and ideally suited for large content storage. EMC’s ECS solution, ultimately, offers a foundation upon which IT organizations can build out the next generation of applications and workloads. The next-generation datacenter will need a next-generation storage solution, like ECS.”

Read the full ESG Whitepaper for yourself: ”EMC Elastic Cloud Storage Offers Resilient Scalability for the New Generation of Workloads”, October 2015.

Learn more about object storage with EMC ECS.

EMC ECS software is available to download now and try free.

 

Breakfast with ECS: Valet’s vs. Parking Lots – Explaining Object Storage

Varun Chhabra

Director of Product Marketing, Advanced Software Division at EMC

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

I often get asked by customers what exactly makes a storage solution an “object” platform. It’s a fair question, but the answer can be very different depending on which vendor you are talking to. Driven by the traction that cloud storage is seeing, vendors are anxious to have their platforms participate in the object storage market. This has led to all kinds of disparate solutions being labeled as “object storage”.

To help clarify some of this confusion, we’ve teamed up with George Crump, Lead Analyst at Storage Switzerland. Check out the “ChalkTalk” below to see a simple explanation of why object storage is so well suited to store large amounts of unstructured data.

Want to learn more about how ECS can help your organization? You can check out our homepage, or download ECS for free from our Free and Frictionless portal.

Breakfast with ECS: Containers and Community Innovation

Kamal Srinivasan

Sr. Manager, Product Management at EMC

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

Recently, Linuxcon, Containercon, and MesosCon came to Seattle.  The events brought many experts (developers, admins, academics, and industry veterans) from the community to one place, and showcased the next generation of datacenter technology.  It was truly an amazing experience, and I left the events with two key themes bouncing around in my head – the momentum behind community innovation, and its impact on containers.

In her keynote at ContainerCon, Robin Chase of Zipcar brought out the idea of community innovation. The container space is a prime example of this model yielding good results. Given all the noise about containers recently, it’s hard to believe that Docker is a relatively young company. However, with over 1100 contributors to its repository, it is precisely the community innovation aspect that has helped make Docker and containers suitable for production workloads in such a short amount of time.

Contrary to dire predictions, the technology space is evolving towards an interesting coexistence of Open Source and product commercialization. Containers have benefited from this trend as well.  The engagement of a wide variety of contributors to containers, such as public cloud vendors, as well as vendors specializing in Open Source technologies, has really turbo-charged adoption.  This has helped bridge the gap in many use cases to provide a foundation for hybrid cloud, or helped application developers move seamlessly between cloud providers.  The conferences had a few enterprises demonstrate container use cases and challenges.  Notably, Verizon showcased a large scale Mesos cluster, which is the basis for its next generation datacenter.  There are a number of interesting projects ongoing to address improvement for containers in areas such as monitoring, networking, security, and persistence, which is welcome news for companies looking to take advantage of the technology.

EMC CodeThis may come as a surprise to some of our readers, but EMC has been an active contributor to the open source community with various efforts.  EMC Code was started with this vision and some of the contributions from EMC Code can be found on GitHub.  Additionally, EMC products are also contributing to and utilizing the container community.  Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), EMC’s cloud-scale storage platform took an early bet on Docker Containers.  This proved to be a critical bet, as it provided us with the capability to provide layers of abstraction between the hardware and the operating system.  Today, ECS can run on most commodity hardware or Linux OS due to our reliance on container technology.  Consequently, ECS is one of the largest stateful applications running at scale with Docker containers in production.

You can check out how the Vatican Library leveraged ECS as a Global Content Repository to provide global access to over 30 million digitized pages of rare and historic manuscripts.

Containers allow ECS to be packaged with dependencies and not be impacted by the Host OS or lifecycle of the Host.  In turn, this helps our customers bring cloud scale economics to private cloud.   These cloud scale economics are crucial for all IT shops as they look to lower their overall cost of ownership and enable quicker time to market for their business partners.

Want to learn more about how ECS can help your organization? You can check out our homepage, or download ECS for free from our Free and Frictionless portal.

 

 

 

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