As this is being written, the Industry has aligned to put all of us in the position of needing to migrate our file data from whatever system it may be on to a new platform. If your preference is EMC, then your future is ATMOS or Isilon. If you’re in the NetApp camp, then you have Clustered OnTap (8.2 Cluster Mode), e-Series or StorageGRID. Even Microsoft has come to the table with ReFS… not to mention, SWIFT, the “cloud”, etc.
Certainly a lot to think about. As you contemplate your migration, here are a few more things to consider:
One of the challenges faced by people who work over time in any particular domain (in this case our domain file data management) is recognizing the effect of steady incremental changes. These changes become like the ticking of a clock… they get filtered out of our consciousness.
Today, most organizations treat all file data as if it were equal. It is all clustered, replicated, backed-up, archived – and more… At any given point in time, the average organization has more than 12 copies of their file data. One of our customers, by virtue of their geographies and process normally has 28. (Our current record holder.)
For years we've lived with "knowledge" that NFS is faster than CIFS... While this may still be true in general, it is not true on Microsoft systems running Windows 2012 with SMB 3.0. The new SMB 3 seamless supports multiple NICs and direct-to-memory transfers making it faster than almost all other protocols. Big Data... watch out. Microsoft is coming for you!
Today, for whatever reason, everyone seems to have their head in the cloud. EMC has Atmos (and now Isilon), NetApp has StorageGrid, HP and Dell fought over 3Par, etc. What does it all mean? How is ‘cloud’ different from ‘virtual’? Should I care? Is there any value here?
Depressingly (for me, anyway),today's generation doesn't even know what floppy drives are. In another 10 years the same will be true of 'disk' drives or 'hard' drives. This year is the beginning of the end for rotating media. You can already go to Staples and, for a reasonable price, buy an 80-gig solid state drive that is 100 times faster rotating media. Once there are no more rotating drives in desktop computers, servers will follow in a couple of years. Goodbye hard drive... you've served us well.
The bad news is that for this post I have to admit to being over 40 (maybe even over 50…).
These days I’m often fascinated to see what 30-something MBAs in high tech marketing can come up with – and how much money they get to spend once they do. The latest, of course, is Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage. What is Cloud Computing? All your data and your applications are somewhere else and you connect to them over the common carrier (read: phone company) network. We did this 40 years ago. It was called mainframe computing.
One of the hottest topics in the storage industry today is deduplication. Deduplication is this year’s fancy way to do data compression, something that has been available for decades. If you were a fan of compression in years past, then you will probably be a fan of deduplication. But it’s not all upside.
An interesting thing happened this year – an aspect of our business reversed… For years, the bulk of our discussions with customers has been about NTP Software QFS®. QFS provides a structural solution for managing file data. QFS users can set policies that govern the use of their resources. These policies can be both hard (an absolute rule) and soft (warnings, but not prohibitions). But in the majority of situations, QFS users set hard policies. Part of the value proposition for QFS is that it will automatically control what is allowed to go on in your environment.
The speed and depth of the economy’s decline has taken a lot of people by surprise, me included. Today it’s clear that the Storage Industry is no longer immune to reductions in IT spending. While we all still have to keep our businesses running, we also need to cut expenses and cut them now.