Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

The object storage paradox

(article written for the Scality blog)

It has been six years since I wrote my first object storage blog, even though I didn’t mention object storage in that specific article. I had my head in the clouds as our early cloud startup was being acquired by Sun Microsystem when someone asked me to write a piece on EMC’s new baby, Atmos so I took a spin at it. That was object storage before object storage.

A lot has happened since. I’ve traveled around the world to evangelize object storage, organized dozens of object storage panels and wrote hundreds of pages on why companies need object storage, object storage use cases and early customer success stories. Today, I’m on a mission to help grow the success of the Scality RING, probably the most successful object storage platform in the industry. Since I joined Scality six months ago, I’ve seen more happy customers than the four years before combined.

So what is different? Why is Scality so much more successful than the other object storage players? Is it a better time? Maybe. Do we have better sales people? Quite probably. Is the product so much better? Most definitely.

There is indeed a big change in the market: data sets have finally grown beyond petabytes. But, companies still need to feel the pain before they take action. Technology evangelists’ predictions may force them to think, but budgets for new technologies are only approved when things get out of control. This still does not explain why Scality in particular is becoming the rising star.

I like to explain the success of Scality with what I call “the object storage paradox,” which consists of two parts:

First, Scality has abandoned object storage. Scality was the first company to understand that in order to sell more object storage it had to … stop selling object storage. In the Scality RING architecture, object storage is an enabler. It’s a small piece of a big piece of software that enables companies to build massive-scale storage pools. The object storage layer abstracts the underlying hardware and enables customers to deploy the RING on any industry-standard servers. However, to scale both storage capacity and performance to massive levels, the Scality RING software relies on a distributed, 100% parallel, scale-out architecture with a set of intelligent services for data access and presentation, data protection and systems management.

The second part of the paradox is that Scality was the first company to acknowledge that people still think – and will always be thinking – “files.” Yes, REST API’s are great – for certain use cases – but to enable a wider use of its technology, Scality supports native file system access to RING storage through a choice of file connectors and the integrated Scale-Out File System (SOFS). SOFS is a POSIX compliant virtual file system that provides file storage services without the need for external file gateways, as is commonly the case in other object storage solutions.

The SOFS file systems can be scaled-out in capacity across as many storage nodes as needed to support application requirements, and can be accessed by multiple NFS, FUSE, SMB or CDMI connectors to support application load requirements. The fact that EMC just acquired file gateway provider Maginatics after their earlier acquisition of Twinstrata – stresses the importance of native file system support.

Conclusion:

Object storage solves the biggest challenge the storage industry faces: to store massive volumes of data reliably, with the highest availability and in a cost-efficient way. The paradigm is a reaction to the scalability limitations of traditional (SAN/NAS) storage systems, but that doesn’t mean customers are willing to give up the benefits of file-based storage.

A simple analogy is the increasing success of the electric car. We all know that the use of internal combustion engines will soon be reaching its limits as our fossil fuel resources are not infinite. But that doesn’t mean we want to give up the convenience of cars and start using electric trains. Electric cars allow us to continue to enjoy the benefit of owning private transport but solve many of the problems of traditional cars (pollution and cost of gas). Scality’s software-defined storage takes a similar approach: it enables customers to consume storage in a way they have been used to over the past 3 decades, but with a better engine under the hood.


0

Read the original blog entry...

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
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...