December 20, 2017 | Written by: Christofer Jensen
Categorized: Big Data | Cloud | IT infrastructure | Storage
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The IT industry is as we all know a fast paced and ever-changing industry. There are product introductions almost every month from all kinds of vendors (software, hardware, services, cloud etc). Moreover, all vendors love to throw buzz words around to create the next big thing. So, what does it all mean?
When starting to write this blog post, I was planning to add to the fuzz and throw around some buzz words, but then I realised that perhaps I should try to break it down instead, make sense of it all. Of course, all buzz words cannot be handled in one blog post, but perhaps I can make sense of some that I throw around and try to clarify the benefit of them.
First up, Software defined storage (SDS). It has been around for a few years now and what it actually means, is to get rid of the dependence in storage hardware that have been a real problem in IT since the beginning. We want to have hardware agnostic software, that provides all the storage service, we are used to in the advanced storage products on the market. From IBM, our solution for SDS is well known as Spectrum Storage and has been around for a few years. With the use of SDS, clients are free to choose which hardware they like, it increases flexibility immensely. When SDS is implemented, clients also have the flexibility to introduce new types of technology much quicker than it was possible just 10 years ago. Today, flash is the fastest storage media on the market with new products announced frequently. IBM recently announced a new Flash system box with higher capacities / density and a lower cost, that can be implemented in any kind of application within minutes, something that simply is not possible without SDS.
Second buzz to simplify, Hybrid cloud, or as commonly termed “someone else’s computer for somethings”. Hybrid cloud is simply put that one can utilize someone else’s IT resources for specific use cases. It is closely related to SDS and Software Defined Environments (SDE) in the way that we just extend. for example the storage service (SDS SW), to a data center that is not owned by the consumer. Great use cases for hybrid cloud is cold data and cold applications. Meaning, data and applications that cannot be removed but want to run and be stored in the cheapest possible place. Why not put them in the cloud somewhere? This can be done through built in functions in SDS from IBM for example. Then the storage layer integrates with the cloud, for example Amazon, and handles data transfer and other functions such as encryption.
Last buzz I would like to try to explain is the “new generation workloads”. It is not a new type of storage interface nor a new kind of infrastructure device. It is (very) simplified a new type of use case with new requirements. Big data is probably the most common new generation workload, and what that really means is that the data owner wants to analyse the data and draw value from it. The data for Big data is usually unstructured, which means movies, sound, pictures or sensor data. Analysis brings new requirements of, for example, higher scalability, higher performance and more intelligent software.
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