For the past few months, I’ve been heads down talking to our clients about storage refreshes. There have been some technology refreshes, primarily from some product coming up on end of life. However, for the most part, I’ve been consistently hearing the pain that I&O professionals have been suffering, which is from the storage capacity overload of server virtualization. Many today, however, are suffering even more, because not only do they have the server virtualization storage growth problems, but now it’s compounded with VDI, AND the overall private cloud initiatives many organizations have in place. Not only has their storage grown by 50% in the last 12 months, but it’s now projected to grow another 50% in the next 12 months. Before another million dollars plus investment is made, many are asking (as should you) the question: Is throwing more hardware going to really solve the problem?
These three BIG initiatives have a significant impact on how storage architectures change. But the reality is that storage has been an afterthought for a long time, and today, there is much change that has to happen. Features such as thin provisioning, deduplication (for primary environments), and compression have all been available for some time now and must be a part of common practice and procedures for managing storage that is supporting virtualization environments. And this is key. Having tools and solutions in place that understand your virtualization environment are critical to the overall success of your private cloud initiative, because storage is one of the integrated foundational blocks of establishing a private cloud environment in your data center. Today, it’s difficult to manage your storage without understanding what’s happening in the network as well in your server virtualization environment.
Today, Nimbus Data Systems announced that eBay has deployed more than 100 TB of their flash storage capacity, putting the spotlight on a key win for the emerging storage vendor. This is interesting on a few levels. First, it’s good to see some life from the emerging storage vendor space, after the pool has been depleted by numerous acquisitions by major storage vendors over the last couple of years. This announcement will get Nimbus more attention and give it some headway in the race to survive and succeed in the roster of next-generation of storage system vendors that includes Arkologic, BridgeStor, Caringo, Cleversafe, Coraid, Nexenta, Promise Technology, RELData, Scale Computing, Scality and Stormagic, as well as the crop of cloud gateway providers, Nasuni, Panzura, StorSimple and TwinStrata (I’m always trying to expand this list, comments or suggestions are always welcome…).