Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Anders Wallgren, Blue Box Blog, Liz McMillan, Scott Allen, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

SDN Journal: Blog Post

Converging Your Storage Network Without Fear

The days of completely separate storage network technologies are quickly fading

The days of completely separate storage network technologies are quickly fading. It feels like it’s only a few years ago that Fiber Channel was the way to create large scale storage networks. Big honking storage devices on a separate network, connected to Fiber Channel switches, connected with Fiber Channel adapters into servers. With 10GbE becoming cost effective and matching or outperforming 2, 4 or even 8Gbit Fiber Channel, Fiber Channel over Ethernet was invented, mostly as a mechanism to allow Ethernet based attachments to existing Fiber Channel installations. It’s a bit clumsy, but it works.

A variety of Ethernet and IP based storage mechanisms have gained significant popularity in the past few years. Storage has become denser and cheaper, and advances in file system technology have made it much more convenient to distribute storage and access it as if it was one large system. Most of the customers we find have a mixture of server co-located storage (typically 4-10 TB per system) to mid size storage arrays in the 10s to 100s of TB that are distributed across the network. Whether it’s NAS, iSCSI, ATA over Ethernet or any other Ethernet or IP based storage technology, it is clear that networked storage is where we are going. Don’t get me wrong, FC and FCoE will be around for a long time to come. Billions of dollars have been invested and those dollars will be protected. But even the bellwether FC storage companies provide ethernet and IP based access to their arrays these days.

Interestingly enough though, while many have made or are making the transition to, dare I call it, traditional network technologies for storage transport, many still create separate, parallel ethernet networks for storage. Servers have multiple NICs, with some of them dedicated to the storage network. The reasons for this separation are fairly straightforward. Storage used to be dedicated, it still is, but now on cheap 10GbE. The people that manage the storage still have the same full control, its still a storage network. All of the management, provisioning and tuning tools apply, all that really happened is a change of the medium. But above all, any time I have had a “why don’t you converge your storage and data network” discussion with a customer, it has almost always comes to a fear of running storage traffic and regular data traffic on the same network. It’s a fear of interference, congestion, perhaps a fear of the unknown “what happens to my storage performance when I run the two on the same network?”

The folks at Network Heresy have spent a few articles on the age old network problem of mice and elephant flows. Combining storage and regular data on the same network will amplify this problem. Storage functions like replication and archiving are extremely likely to be elephant flows and can have quite the impact on the rest of the flows. Perhaps that fear is rational?

There are certainly ways to try and engineer your way through this, but they are awfully complicated. I can create a different class of service for storage traffic, queue it differently, give it different drop preferences and use all the other tricks to try and ease the potential for interference. But still, the data traverses the same links and all we have done is made one more important than the other. Which may be perfectly valid for replication and archiving, but not at all for real time access to storage for regular applications.

So what if you could separate your storage and regular data traffic while on the same, single ethernet? What if you could isolate traffic to and from storage to use specific links, while all other traffic would use other links. Give lowest hop count paths to applications and storage that require the lowest latency, give paths with more latency but more available bandwidth to those replication and archiving flows that are not particularly latency sensitive. You can create a single ethernet network, and still separate your storage traffic and regular data traffic. I have seen solutions that propose a virtualized L2 network to separate the two types, but  that only provides logical separation, they still flow across the exact same links, with the potential of interference.

A controller that manages topologies and paths based on end to end visibility and allows you to articulate in fairly abstract terms what you want separated, gives you this option. Having that same controller integrate with the storage management so that this can be fully or partially automated, even better. Think about it, a single storage and data network where you control how converged or diverged the various data streams are is very powerful. We have demonstrated this in the past and there are real solutions based on these capabilities.

We are collectively making the step into network based storage. We should also make the step to run this effectively with maximum performance and minimal interference on a single network. It really can be pretty simple…

[Today's fun fact: Sony was the last major company to stop producing 3.5 inch floppy disks in 2011. In 2009 they still sold 12 million of them. Oh I miss my Commodore VIC-20 with its tape drive.]

The post Converging your storage network without fear appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Marten Terpstra

Marten Terpstra is a Product Management Director at Plexxi Inc. Marten has extensive knowledge of the architecture, design, deployment and management of enterprise and carrier networks.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...