16
Sep
11

Storage in a Changing World

I have been very remiss is posting, very caught up in work, trips to wine country and changing personal technologies (new Mac, extending use of iPad, selling my MN house, etc).

I almost missed David Black’s “KISS Principle” posting:

http://www.blackliszt.com/2011/09/storage.html

David expounds on a view of storage architecture and management that balks in the face of present day storage, er, software, wait, no, storage companies architecture, a more “frameless” context of storage. Net-net, historically storage was just that, a place to store your bits, then came RAID (I remember an IT Manager who came to me in, 1989 I think, and said he needed to get that “RAID” thing, because his boss asked why he didn’t have it), after which vendors started building out arrays, aka, the “SAN” area begins. Now, all those “storage” vendors, are stating that they are no longer storage vendors, they are software vendors.

This frameless architecture removes those overloaded, bottlenecking, legacy controllers, streamlines the datapath, making storage integration easier and giving the applications control of the storage resources and returning storage to it’s rightful role, storing data (and, mind you, letting those storage vendors actually focus on doing that right, once again).

Storagewonk expounds greatly on this in his article over a year ago “Store, Move, Protect – The Fundamentals of Storage”:

http://www.storagewonk.com/2010/02/store-move-protect-fundamentals-of.html

The reality is that is an era when storage vendors are no longer storage vendors, and just using the same CRAP that every other “software” vendor is using, their differentiator is in software capabilities, capabilities that have, quite ironically, found their way into the hypervisors, OS’s and applications of the world.

Whether you want thin provisioning, replication, CDP; some of the many “features” that these software vendors have focused on and grown strong, those are finding their way into the core software of the world and in most cases with more consistency and data protection that the overblown “software” companies products provide.

The real question is where do you want the feature applied and how many times do you want to pay for them. The XIO answer, put the feature closest to the application, where it can do the most good and give the most bang for the buck, and let the storage vendors focus on doing what they “should” be doing, finding ways to deliver your bits the fastest they can and protecting that data the best it can.

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