Sometimes Cloud Bursting is Bad – Permabit Briefing Note

IT professionals use the phrase “cloud bursting” to describe a process where they move compute and storage to the cloud when the local data center runs out of those resources. But there is another type of bursting that happens to cloud providers running out of data center floor space. In other words they are bursting at the seams and face the need to build a brand new data center facility.

Cloud service providers (CSP) face a unique challenge. They have to provide IT with services more efficiently and cost effectively than IT can do on their own. CSPs count on three technologies to meet those challenges for IT: virtualization and increased virtual machine density to reduce server footprint; open source software to massively reduce software acquisition costs; and white box servers to drive down the cost of physical hardware acquisition.

Most CSP’s build their infrastructures from a Linux core running on those white box servers. From there they add storage software like CEPH, Gluster or OpenStack. These solutions all scale-out. As they add nodes, they add compute and capacity resources at the same time, but most CSPs consume storage capacity at a faster rate than they consume CPU resources. As a result, they add nodes to get more capacity but they have CPU resources going to waste.

What CSPs have been missing is universal data efficiency so they can squeeze more data into the same physical space. But they need data efficiency, not to lower the price per GB of storage (although that never hurts), they need data efficiency to reduce the size of the physical footprint of the storage infrastructure so that CPU and capacity grow at a similar rate while keeping the data center footprint as small as possible and reducing operating costs (power and cooling).

There are only a few options available to CSPs wanting to add data efficiency to the environment, but most of them are specific to a single open source product. They also typically have performance and reliability concerns. What CSPs need is a single solution that will run on multiple open source software solutions, both in the cloud and on-premises (hybrid cloud). And that is the goal of Permabit’s new product VDO 6.0 for Hybrid Cloud.

VDO 6.0 for Hybrid Cloud

The latest version of VDO is designed specifically for the CSP market, which is concerned more with physical footprint savings to enable them to increase data density than dollar per GB savings because they understand that data center expansion is very costly. And unlike Permabit’s previous beachheads in primary storage and flash storage, these solutions run largely hard drives. The data efficiency solution has to be very efficient so it does not make a slow storage medium even slower. From a feature perspective, VDO provides deduplication and deduplication aware data compression. The 6.0 release is Linux based, supports Red Hat (RHEL) and provides support for the open source storage solutions mentioned above.

StorageSwiss Take

VDO 6.0 for Hybrid Cloud is an important next step for Permabit. It puts them squarely in the fastest growing part of the storage market and provides real value. It’s a different type of customer for Permabit, instead of being primarily concerned about performance, CSPs are concerned about physical footprint. Permabit can address that concern as well as deliver cost reduction and do so across a variety of storage software solutions supporting flash and/or HDD.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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