Welcome!

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Feed Post

Shifting The Storage Paradigm | Part 3: Object Storage Enables IoT

Object storage has emerged as the logical paradigm for storing the IoT data

Previously in this series, I explained the evolution of unstructured data and how storage requirements have changed over the past decade due to changes from above and below: the massive growth in unstructured data, mostly immutable data, requires cost-efficient, easy-to-scale storage architectures without the complexity of file systems. I noted that object storage was designed for this purpose, and that in addition to scalability and efficiency benefits, object storage also provides great benefits when it comes to accessibility as REST and other protocols make it very easy for applications to connect to the storage directly and give users access to their data through all sorts of mobile and web applications.

I also explained how information-sensing devices are not exclusive to scientific analytics environments: think of cameras and smart phones but also cheap network cameras for home security, thermostats that warm up our houses when we are on our way home, smart fridges or watering devices that allow us to keep our plants healthy and happy, even when we are on a vacation. This wave of innovation based on the capabilities to generate, process and leverage data in apps and devices is now popularly called The Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is not a new concept. Wikipedia says: “The term Internet of Things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999 though the concept has been discussed in the literature since at least 1991.” In its early stages, the concept relates to the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and how “if all objects and people in daily life were equipped with identifiers, they could be managed and inventoried by computers.” Finally, Wikipedia adds that, “Equipping all objects in the world with minuscule identifying devices or machine-readable identifiers could transform daily life.” And this is exactly what is happening today and also what makes IoT more important than ever.

Apple retail stores are full of “gadgets” that can make our lives easier, healthier and more enjoyable. Google has jumped on the gadget bandwagon with Google Glasses. And in terms of sizing this gadget market, Gartner is predicting that there will be over 25 billion IoT devices by 2020.

So what does this have to do with the topic at hand – Object Storage?

The one thing all those IoT devices have in common is that they log, generate and process data and turn it into information that can help us to keep track of our workouts, optimize energy consumption or bring our household automation (which sounds so much better in Italian: “domotica”) to the next level.

The fact that all these IoT devices are connected to the Internet means that more and more data will be uploaded from those devices. A lot of it is very small data, but from a volume point of view, if we take the sum of all the data those devices are generating, we are talking about exabytes and exabytes of information in the form of unstructured data – almost too much to fathom!

Traditional storage is simply not capable of handling these types of data. So, Object storage has emerged as the logical paradigm for storing such data.  Designed for large volumes of data, it supports distributed environments and the applications that run on these devices can integrated directly with the storage layer. Not all object storage platforms qualify for IoT data, however. The reasons for this are:

  • Small files in particular are a challenge for many object storage platforms: NoFS (No file System) becomes a key requirement
  • Performance needs to scale in all dimensions, especially IOPS and latency.
  • Different data types and different applications require different data protection mechanisms, as well as flexible architectures.

IoT has been around for a while but things are only getting started. Innovation doesn’t stand still, so who knows how data storage requirements will evolve over the next decade?

So here ends my three-blog series, which covered the evolution of digital data over the past 4 decades and illustrated how storage platforms have evolved to meet the requirements of new data types and applications. Object storage is designed for long-term storage strategies but we understand it will probably not be the end point.

More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Peak 10 is a hybrid infrastructure provider across the nation. We are in the thick of things when it comes to hybrid IT," explained , Chief Technology Officer at Peak 10, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.