Future of Block Storage in the Cloud
Block storage is extremely good at block access response times and transaction processing and RAS
By: Said Syed
Apr. 13, 2009 04:00 AM
New York City, what a place. It's always alive. The moment I stepped out of the airport terminal, I knew I was in New York. Three "Private" Limo drivers started following me asking me where I was going, several cab drivers lined up at the curb looking towards me, eager to take me where ever my heart desired I suppose. I eventually hopped in a limo and headed toward my hotel, The Grand Hyatt. I did not stay at the Roosevelt Hotel because it was $100 more per night and during these bad economic times, I figured I needed to save the company $400.00. I have to say I was very disappointed with the food. I had very high expectations of NYC food. No, this was not my first time, but the first time not visiting a relative. I was free to experiment and try different types of food all over Manhattan. I have been to about 70 different cities in 8 years all over the world and NYC is by far the most expensive when it comes to good food. Which doesn't make sense. But then enough about my culinary adventures. Let's talk CLOUDs.
Once I registered and started mingling, everyone who was SOMEONE in Cloud Computing seemed to have swarmed to NYC - Amazon's CTO Dr. Vogels, IBM's Cloud CTO Kloeckner, Sun's Cloud SVP Dave Douglas and myself. Now I am not a Cloud Computing expert by any means. But I am an expert in Block Storage and Storage Infrastructure and I was interested in listening to some of these keynotes and attending several Cloud Storage related sessions to really dig deeper and determine why most were using a "Pizza Box" approach to Cloud Storage or Storage as a Service for public clouds and whether this, Cloud Computing, was the beginning of the end of Block Storage as we know it. While at the conference, I was able to get answers to all of my questions:
Are Storage Clouds or Compute Cloud for everyone?
Do clouds experience outages?
So what about "INTERNAL CLOUDS"?
This is where I think virtualization technologies that have specific distributed resource management technologies built in come into play: VMware VI3 and soon-to-be-released VI4 with very cool new features that I can't really comment on right now due to NDA. Sun xVM | Server of course and others such as MS Hyper-V. All offer resource management tools such as VMware DRS by which pools of CPUs and memory resources along with I/O can be created and managed automagically by the application itself. One could specify how much compute and I/O they want guaranteed and the resource manager tool can set policies, which then go ahead and manage these resource needs for the particular virtual machine. A win-win situation for the Cloud user and the Cloud provider.
This level of control, today, is possible primarily in an internal Cloud with all the cool things which go along with virtualization such as dynamic disaster recovery. Obviously, Storage is at the middle of it all. SHARED storage allows the CLOUD to even Exist. Even if it is commodity storage, it still has to be shared somehow. But for medium to large companies, a private cloud becomes more viable because they can move existing, enterprise class storage resources (such as the Sun Storage 6000 series or the Sun Storage 9900 series), take advantage of built-in technologies such as thin-provisioning (Think provision ONLY what is used and manage the scalability as needed), Remote Replication such as RVM for Sun Storage 6000 series and UVR / TrueCopy for Sun Storage 9900 series for Disaster recovery with integrated tools such as VMware Site Recovery Manager. ZFS can also be used to spread the data across several arrays and several types of arrays.
My Conclusions on the Future of Block Storage in Terms of Cloud
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Latest Cloud Developer Stories
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
Most Read This Week