Got Questions on Container Storage? We’ve Got Answers!

Keeping up with changes in the world of container storage is not easy. That’s why the SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative invited expert Keith Hudgins of Docker for a live webcast, “What’s New in Container Storage.” I encourage you to watch it on-demand. It’s well worth the approximately half-hour investment to get up to speed on container storage.

As promised during the live event, here are answers to the questions we received:

Q. How does the new Container Storage Interface fit in here? Read More

Wondering What’s New in Container Storage?

The landscape of containers is moving fast and constantly changing, with new standards emerging every few months. If you wondering what’s new in container storage, you are not alone. That’s why the SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative is hosting a live webcast on February 26, 2019, “What’s New in Container Storage.”

In this webcast, Keith Hudgins of Docker joins us as a follow up to his earlier container webcast “Intro to Containers, Container Storage and Docker.” It’s our most popular webcast to date with thousands of views. If you missed it, it’s available on demand and will provide you with some great background information before our February 26h webcast.

I encourage you to register today for the February 26th session where you’ll learn:

  • What’s new, what to pay attention to, and how to make sense of the ever-shifting container landscape.
  • Container storage types and Container Frameworks
  • An overview of the various storage APIs for the container landscape
  • How to identify the most important projects to follow in the container world
  • The Container Storage Interface spec and Kubernetes 1.13
  • How to get involved in the container community

It will be live, so bring your questions!

Understanding Composable Infrastructure

Cloud data centers are by definition very dynamic. The need for infrastructure availability in the right place at the right time for the right use case is not as predictable, nor as static, as it has been in traditional data centers. These cloud data centers need to rapidly construct virtual pools of compute, network and storage based on the needs of particular customers or applications, then have those resources dynamically and automatically flex as needs change.

To accomplish this, many in the industry espouse composable infrastructure capabilities, which rely on heterogeneous resources with specific capabilities that can be discovered, managed, and automatically provisioned and re-provisioned through data center orchestration tools. The primary benefit of composable infrastructure results in a smaller grained sets of resources that are independently scalable and can be brought together as required. On February 13, 2019, The SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative is going to examine what’s happening with composable infrastructure in our live webcast, Why Composable Infrastructure? In this webcast, SNIA experts will discuss:

What prompted the development of composable infrastructure?

  • What is composable infrastructure?
  • What are the enabling technologies and potential solutions
  • Enabling technologies (not just what’s here, but what’s needed…)
  • An update on the current status of composable infrastructure standards/products, and where we might be in two to five years

Our goal is to clearly explain the reasoning behind and the benefits of composable infrastructure in an educational, vendor-neutral way. We hope you’ll join us. Our experts will be on hand to answer your questions. Register today to save your spot.

Deciphering the Economics of Building a Cloud Storage Architecture

Building a cloud storage architecture requires both storage vendors, cloud service providers and large enterprises to consider new technical and economic paradigms in order to enable a flexible and cost efficient architecture. That’s why the SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative is hosting a live webcast, “Create a Smart and More Economic Cloud Storage Architecture” on November 7th.

From an economic perspective, cloud infrastructure is often procured in the traditional way – prepay for expected future storage needs and over provision for unexpected changes in demand. This requires large capital expenditures which slows cost recovery based on fluctuating customer adoption. Giving large enterprises and cloud service providers flexibility in the procurement model for their storage allows them to more closely align the expenditure on infrastructure resources with the cost recovery from customers, optimizing the use of both CapEx and OpEx budgets.

From a technical perspective, clouds inherently require unpredictable scalability – both up and down. Building a storage architecture with the ability to rapidly allocate resources for a specific customer need and reallocate resources based on changing customer requirements allows for storage capacity optimization, creating performance pools in the data center without compromising the responsiveness to the change in needs. Such architecture should also align to the data center level orchestration system to allow for even higher level of resource optimization and flexibility.

In this webcast, you will learn:

  • How modern storage technology allows you to build this infrastructure
  • The role of software defined storage
  • Accounting principles that impact CapEx and OpEx
  • How to model cloud costs of new applications and or re-engineering existing applications
  • Performance considerations

Register today. Our CSTI experts will be on hand to answer your questions on the spot. We hope to see you on November. 7th.

 

What the “T” Means in SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies

The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) has had a rebrand; we’ve added a T for Technologies into our name, and we’re now officially the Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative (CSTI).

That doesn’t seem like a significant change, but there’s a good reason. Our old name reflected the push to getting acceptance of cloud storage, and that specific cloud storage debate has been won, and big time. One relatively small cloud service provider is currently storing 400PB of clients’ data. Twitter alone consumes 300PB of data on Google’s cloud offering. Facebook, Amazon, AliBaba, Tencent – all have huge data storage numbers.

Enterprises of every size are storing data in the cloud. That’s why we added the word “technologies.” The expanded charter and new name reflect the need to support the evolving cloud business models and architectures such as OpenStack, software defined storage, Kubernetes and object storage. It includes data services, orchestration and management, understanding hyperscale requirements and the role standards play.

So what do we do? The CSTI is an active group that publishes articles and white papers, speaks at industry conferences and presents at highly-rated webcasts that have been viewed by thousands. You can learn more about the CSTI and check out the Infographic for highlights on cloud storage trends and CSTI activities.

If you’re interested in cloud storage technologies, I encourage you to consider joining our group. We have multiple membership options for established vendors, startups, educational institutions, even individuals. Learn more about CSTI membership here.

Simplifying the Movement of Data from Cloud to Cloud

We are increasingly living in a multi-cloud world, with potentially multiple private, public and hybrid cloud implementations supporting a single enterprise. Organizations want to leverage the agility of public cloud resources to run existing workloads without having to re-plumb or re-architect them and their processes. In many cases, applications and data have been moved individually to the public cloud. Over time, some applications and data might need to be moved back on premises, or moved partially or entirely, from one cloud to another.

That means simplifying the movement of data from cloud to cloud. Data movement and data liberation – the seamless transfer of data from one cloud to another – has become a major requirement.

On August 7, 2018, the SNIA Cloud Storage Technologies Initiative will tackle this issue in a live webcast, “Cloud Mobility and Data Movement.” We will explore some of these data movement and mobility issues and include real-world examples from the University of Michigan. We’ll discus:

  • How do we secure data both at-rest and in-transit?
  • Why is data so hard to move? What cloud processes and interfaces should we use to make data movement easier?
  • How should we organize our data to simplify its mobility? Should we use block, file or object technologies?
  • Should the application of the data influence how (and even if) we move the data?
  • How can data in the cloud be leveraged for multiple use cases?

Register now for this live webcast. Our SNIA experts will be on-hand to answer you questions.

 

 

AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing in Action

SNIA Cloud Storage recently hosted a fascinating webcast on the real world use of IBM Watson – the computer that mesmerized viewers on “Jeopardy!” by answering questions accurately and faster than its human competitors. Our webcast, “Customer Support through Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning,” detailed how Watson is being used as a virtual support assistant, named Elio, at NetApp. We had many interesting questions during the live event which is now available on-demand. Here are answers to them all from our expert presenters who have been driving the success of Elio – Ross Ackerman from NetApp and Robin Marcenac from IBM. Read More

Watson: From Jeopardy! to Digital Support Assistant

When IBM Watson premiered on “Jeopardy!” viewers were mesmerized by Watson’s ability to answer the quiz show’s questions and most times, beat the human contestants! Fast-forward to today and the real-world applications extend well beyond playing trivia games. Watson is being deployed in a variety of medical and business scenarios.

In fact, NetApp is now using Watson as part of Elio, a virtual support assistant that responds to queries in natural language. Elio is built using Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities which enable Elio to analyze unstructured data, by using natural language processing to understand grammar and context, interpret complex questions, and evaluate all possible meanings to determine what is being asked. Elio then reasons and identifies the best answers to questions with help from experts who monitor the quality of answers and continue to train Elio on more subjects. It’s a fascinating application of artificial intelligence (AI) that we will discuss in detail at our SNIA Cloud Storage webcast on February 22, 2018, “Customer Support through Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.”

Elio and Watson represent an innovative and novel use of large quantities of unstructured data to help solve problems, on average, four times faster than traditional methods. Join us at this webcast, where those on the front lines of this innovative application will discuss:

  • The challenges of utilizing large quantities of valuable yet unstructured data
  • How Watson and Elio continuously learn as more data arrives, and navigates an ever growing volume of technical information
  • How Watson understands customer language and provides understandable responses

Learn how these new and exciting technologies are changing the way we look at and interact with large volumes of traditionally hard-to-analyze data. Register now! We look forward to seeing you on the Feb. 22nd.

 

 

Evaluator Group to Share Hybrid Cloud Research

In a recent survey of enterprise hybrid cloud users, the Evaluator Group saw that nearly 60% of respondents indicated that lack of interoperability is a significant technology issue that they must overcome in order to move forward. In fact, lack of interoperability was the number one issue, surpassing public cloud security and network security as significant inhibitors.

The SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI) is pleased to have John Webster, Senior Partner at Evaluator Group, who will join us on December 12th for a live webcast to dive into the findings of their research. In this webcast, Multi-Cloud Storage: Addressing the Need for Portability and Interoperability, my SNIA Cloud colleague, Mark Carlson, and John will discuss enterprise hybrid cloud objectives and barriers to adoption. John and Mark will focus on cloud interoperability within the storage domain and the CSI’s work that promotes interoperability and portability of data stored in the cloud. Read More

Expert Answers to Cloud Object Storage and Gateways Questions

In our most recent SNIA Cloud webcast, “Cloud Object Storage and the Use of Gateways,” we discussed market trends toward the adoption of object storage and the use of gateways to execute on a cloud strategy.  If you missed the live event, it’s now available on-demand together with the webcast slides. There were many good questions at the live event and our expert, Dan Albright, has graciously answered them in this blog.

Q. Can object storage be accessed by tools for use with big data?

A. Yes. Technically, access to big data is in real-time with HDFS connectors like S3, but it is  conditional on latency and if it is based on local hard drives, it should not be used as the primary storage as it would run very slowly. The guidance is to use hard drive based object storage either as an online archive or a backup target for HDFS.

Q. Will current block storage or NAS be replaced with cloud object storage + gateway?

A. Yes and no.  It’s dependent on the use case. For ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) uses, only the aged and infrequently accessed data is moved to the gateway+cloud object storage, to take advantage of a lower cost tier of storage, while the more recent and active data remains on the primary block or file storage.  For file sync and share, the small office/remote office data is moved off of the local NAS and consolidated/centralized and managed on the gateway file system. In practice, these methods will vary based on the enterprise’s requirements.

Q. Can we use cloud object storage for IoT storage that may require high IOPS?

A. High IOPS workloads are best supported by local SSD based Object, Block or NAS storage.  remote or hard drive based Object storage is better deployed with low IOPS workloads.

Q. What about software defined storage?

A. Cloud object storage may be implemented as SDS (Software Defined Storage) but may also be implemented by dedicated appliances. Most cloud Object storage services are SDS based.

Q. Can you please define NAS?

A. The SNIA Dictionary defines Network Attached Storage (NAS) as:

1. [Storage System] A term used to refer to storage devices that connect to a network and provide file access services to computer systems. These devices generally consist of an engine that implements the file services, and one or more devices, on which data is stored.

2. [Network] A class of systems that provide file services to host computers using file access protocols such as NFS or CIFS.

Q. What are the challenges with NAS gateways into object storage? Aren’t there latency issues that NAS requires that aren’t available in a typical Object store solution?

A. The key factor to consider is workload.  If the workload of applications accessing data residing on NAS experiences high frequency of reads and writes then that data is not a good candidate for remote or hard drive based object storage. However, it is commonly known that up to 80% of data residing on NAS is infrequently accessed.  It is this data that is best suited for migration to remote object storage.

Thanks for all the great questions. Please check out our library of SNIA Cloud webcasts to learn more. And follow us on Twitter @SNIACloud for announcements of future webcasts.