Just over a week ago, I spent two days at Datacenter Dynamics in London. This show is all about the physical data center—what it looks like today, and how it’ll keep growing and changing to meet the needs of big data and other popular trends. I was lucky to take part in a panel discussion with some great technologists. What we discussed and what I heard from attendees mostly focused on managing the sheer volume of data that’s inside data centers.
The petabyte-size data center is today’s reality. That’s grown fast from 15 years ago, when data centers held just a few terabytes. The types of data that need storing today are bigger than 15 years ago and show no signs of slowing down. What will data center managers do when they’re managing an exabyte of data 15 years from now? That’s a question that many conference attendees are facing. It may be that it’s not managing that PB of data that’s hard, but instead, managing a PB of data using traditional infrastructure configurations. Those traditional configurations include using LUNs, for example, which worked fine for years, but aren’t exactly built to scale.
One of my co-panelists, Dave Brown of Genomics England, told us about what he calls “the world’s largest USB key.” That’s a rolling rack of 15k drive shelves with 10Gb Ethernet and Infiniband switching that his IT team uses for data migrations. It’s not exactly an elegant solution, but lots of enterprises today have to get creative to keep up with fast-moving businesses. At Genomics, they get relatively fast storage at scale, but it’s moving the data between tiers that is more work than the processing itself.
I shared the SimpliVity story with attendees during the panel and several other sessions. I talked quite a bit about economics, and how to get extreme data efficiency up front. Conventional data center management is now getting in the way of infrastructure scalability, so IT teams might look at simplifying management and keeping the data close to where it’s being processed. Co-locating that processing and storage is one of the underpinnings of hyperconverged solutions like SimpliVity’s.
Those petabytes of data often find a home with the SimpliVity 2U OmniCubes that many of our customers are using. It’s likely easier to manage than the world’s largest USB key.
Interested in learning more about SimpliVity and how hyperconverged infrastructure can solve your data problems? Read ActualTech Media’s The Gorilla Guide To Hyperconverged Infrastructure Implementation Strategies.