The Next Evolution In Cloud Storage

The Next Evolution In Cloud Storage

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An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

     – Victor Hugo (1802-1885), celebrated French author.

More than two years ago, I wrote that cloud computing is “an idea whose time has come”). Today, I’m tempted to describe Dispersed Storage in similar terms. Allow me to explain.

Cloud computing has opened up whole new possibilities in terms of flexibility, mobility and cost efficiencies. But however intangible the Cloud may be for the end-user, at its most granular level, it is dependent on physical infrastructure. And it’s here that tradition needs to give way.

I’m referring to RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit and has been the de facto standard for cloud storage. However, at the monumental levels of storage that the Cloud often deals with it, it’s highly inefficient.

As this white paper so succinctly explains, “Traditional storage arrays use a RAID architecture to protect data and maintain availability when there’s a problem, typically data corruption or a drive failure. Data is spread across the drives in the RAID set with parity information added to the data in order to facilitate its recreation when a drive fails. This parity data expands the RAID set by 25% to 30%, typically.”

On the other hand, Dispersed Storage, using an “erasure coding and data dispersion process, called “information dispersal”, first parses a data object into multiple component parts or blocks. Then, somewhat like a parity calculation, it expands each block with some additional information to create a more resilient superset of data.”

Not only does Dispersed Storage provide more data resiliency in times of failure, it occupies less physical storage and bandwidth while consuming less power. To know more, download this white paperA Better Answer than RAID and Replication for Cloud Storage“.

Cloud computing brought about a paradigm shift in how businesses operate. Isn’t it time your storage technology kept pace?

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By Sourya Biswas

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Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

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