This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Storage Field Day 10, occurring 25th-27th May 2016 in Silicon Valley, at which I am an attending delegate. See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors. Details of the event can be found on the Storage Field Day 10 page at techfieldday.com and on the dedicated events page on this site at Storage Field Day 10.
A common theme we are seeing in storage (and one that will be apparent during SFD10) is the concept of distributed storage systems. Many of these solutions could be classified as “software defined storage” but that’s too generic a definition these days. Datera is one of a number of vendors that are bringing to the market what might be called a “storage fabric”, or distributed storage system that runs across commodity servers, VMs and (in some cases) containers. In fact Datera term their product an “Elastic Data Fabric” which goes some way to explain what their technology does.
So what is important with this type of technology? What features would we be looking for? Naturally there’s the ability to deploy across many physical servers (as already discussed) but more key are features that manage data consistency, access policies, rebalancing and so on. These are needed to ensure that if (for instance) data is accessed in New York, that the access is serialised and consistent against another user perhaps trying to update the same data in London. How are locks managed? How is data distributed? How are changes replicated? Lots of good questions that will become apparent as we dig into the Datera solution.
As we transition out of the shared storage array age into a more distributed model, these kinds of solutions will provide significant benefit to organisations looking to deploy applications in a more distributed and dynamic manner. The storage layer will provide the ability to allow applications to “burst” to the public cloud, without having to implement lots of complex application-based replication. What’s also important here is having a distributed storage layer provides the ability to implement data protection in our out of the cloud, without having to build it into the application design. There will be real merit in having a storage fabric onto which applications running in VMs, instances and containers can all access their data.
Datera are a new company and the briefings I’ve had to date offer the promise of an interesting solution, although I’ve not yet seen some of the detail. The Tech Field Day format provides us a great opportunity to dig deeper and get some of the more technical questions answered.
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Disclaimer: I was personally invited to attend Storage Field Day 10, with the event teams covering my travel and accommodation costs. However I was not compensated for my time. I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or the respective companies prior to publication.
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