Unified Storage For The Cloud Means Higher-Level Interfaces

Unified Storage For The Cloud Means Higher-Level Interfaces

Unified Storage for the Cloud Means Higher-Level Interfaces

In common use, the term “unified storage” means providing block-level and file-level access to the same storage system with a single management and control interface. Traditionally, block-level access is via fiber channel or iSCSI, and file-level access is via NFS or CIFS protocol.

Recently, storage vendors are also adding _object_-level storage where the objects are entities with metadata like type, access control policies. Objects are read and written by applications using REST HTTP or SOAP and used directly at the application level. The most popular API is Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service). With the higher-abstraction level of objects, the underlying implementation (e.g., number of parts, tiered storage, etc.) is hidden even more than with block- and file-level interfaces. EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, and NetApp among others provide unified storage systems.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is bringing some different requirements for a unified storage system. Most notably, not only is the data in the cloud, but the applications and compute resources are in the cloud. Instead of pulling data from the cloud, processing the data, and pushing back to cloud, the paradigm is to have compute resources in the cloud read and write data directly, local to the cloud. The data is never moved out of the cloud unless absolutely needed.

This type of usage pushes the need for even higher-level interfaces to data like SQL, Map-Reduce, and ETL. Unified storage for the cloud needs to do more than provide multi-protocol access to data that can be managed with one system. In addition to access, there must be the ability to process the data, e.g., running an SQL query. Then applications can easily use the functionality of the cloud storage/compute system instead of using the cloud as a dumb storage system and pulling and pushing the data between the cloud storage system and compute resources.

Unified storage for block- and file- level is still required and important because of the need to integrate with compute nodes that have a block-level or file-level interface. And also, there is the cloud data bootstrap problem of how do you initially get the data in the cloud that can be efficiently done by block-level transfer.

The power of a unified cloud storage system is in the network effect of having a single management interface that allows managing users, multiple tenants, storage and resource quotas, security, access management with ACLs (access control lists) for sharing, and other functions. With the single management interface, the system administrator can effectively control the backend storage system used in a wide variety of users using a small slice of different functionality (e.g., object storage only) or users using a wide scope of data access and processing.

By Gary Ogasawara

Gary Ogasawara is the VP Engineering at Gemini Mobile Technologies. He has worked on large scale mail systems for service providers and other high-performance, high-volume software systems. Gemini’s Cloudian™ product is an S3-compatible storage software package.

Read additional information on Cloud Computing News on CloudTweaks 

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Is Fear Holding Back a Next Generation of Cyber Security Approaches?

Is Fear Holding Back a Next Generation of Cyber Security Approaches?

Next Generation of Cyber Security As I walked through RSA last week, I was struck by the usual fear laden messages “You’re not safe and never will be but I (vendor) have a silver bullet that will protect you.” And, I wondered if this fear-based approach is deterring a badly needed next generation of cyber…

Dreaming of a Cloud Transition and Transformation Framework

Dreaming of a Cloud Transition and Transformation Framework

Cloud Transition and Transformation Framework Many years ago I was introduced to the concepts that comprise the visual architecture process. During the process of learning about the concepts and process of visual architecture, I adopted many of the concepts, ideas and tools to use in my own processes. In particular, there was a component that…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud: Design For the last few months, we have been discussing getting ready to go to the cloud. We have covered topics such as Financial and Business Security reasons. We have even discussed the type of knowledge you should obtain. This month, we are going to take…

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones from Apple, Samsung and HTC (Sponsored post courtesy of Verizon Wireless) The launch of the Galaxy S7 Edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona during February was the first shot in a vintage year for mobile phones. The S7 is an incredible piece of hardware, but launches from HTC and Apple later in the…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

Quality Team Communication  (Sponsored post courtesy of Hubgets) Successful team communication and collaboration are as vital to project and overall business success as the quality of products and services an organization develops. We rely on a host of business tools to ensure appropriate customer interactions, sound product manufacturing, and smooth back-end operations. However, the interpersonal relationships…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

Internet Performance Management Planning CDN Performance Series Provided By Dyn In our previous post, we laid out the problems of business continuity and Internet Performance Management in today’s online environment.  In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can use traffic steering capabilities to execute business continuity planning and…

Featured Sponsored Articles

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor