Talk about software-defined storage

Source: Internet
Author: User

in the area of storage, there have been too many new concepts in recent times, including "Software-defined storage", " Server SAN " and" cloud storage ". A lot of concepts make people foggy, unintelligible. So what exactly is software-defined storage? What is a Server SAN? What is cloud storage? In fact, many storage vendors are not well defined, the industry does not have a consistent clear definition. Many of the markets and the media give a macro explanation. In this era of the concept of flying, not only users feel confused, but also technical staff can not see clearly the future of technical direction. Here's a special talk about software-defined storage to see the true face of software-defined storage

with the development of computers today, software definitions are nothing new, "software define everything"has become a mantra. Lift Software DefinitionsXXX, I've been in touch with software-defined instruments and have been working in this area for a long time. The essence of software-defined instrument is to use computer to carry out data processing and complete the core function of the instrument. Traditional instruments usually use dedicated hardware to complete the core functions, so in the development of an instrument, the focus is on the development of these dedicated hardware. These specialized hardware is then assembled into a single instrument, equipped with specific software, and finally formed into a single instrument. And the idea of software-defined instrument has divided the equipment into general-purpose modules and computers. The general module has various kinds of data acquisition module, Signal generation module, Power module, driver module and so on. These modules are generic and can bePXIand other instrument bus interconnect together to form a set of hardware equipment. Based on these general-purpose modules, the core data processing algorithms run entirely on the computer, as well as on-boardFPGAon. For the instrument and equipment, the hardware module is universal, different instruments have different software, this is software-defined instruments, also known as virtual instruments. From then on, we can see that the software-defined instrument is based on the common hardware module, and different software functions have realized different instruments and equipments. Of the United StatesNI(national instruments) has been promoting software-defined instruments. However, in many people's eyes, this software-defined instrument has often evolved into a computer instrument that, after having a computer in an instrument and equipment, became a software-defined instrument. In the absence of understanding the core concept of software-defined instruments, often feeling "virtual instrument" really good "false." In fact, the idea of software-defined instruments is a major step forward in the testing and measurement industry, which emphasizes the importance of signal processing in the field of instrumentation and abstracts hardware into several general-purpose modules. The traditional way of improving precision by hardware can now be achieved by using a powerful digital signal processing method. And in general hardware based on the rapid construction of instrument systems, which is the advantage of software-defined instruments.

The idea of software-defined storage is very similar to software-defined instrumentation, where software-defined storage emphasizes the creation of different storage devices through different software on a common server platform. One of the keywords here is the generic server. In traditional storage devices, the storage vendors will develop their own storage hardware, because the disk's io performance is very low, therefore, the storage vendors need to develop their own io -oriented storage hardware. For example, in a storage server need to extend a lot of sata/sas interface, extended hardware RAID function, if it is a high-performance storage device, also need to extend the private interconnection network interface between the controller Because storage is an IO - Intensive application, low-end storage can even be designed using a CPU with poor computational performance , and storage is an application that pursues high reliability, so Traditional storage often pursues the reliability and stability of hardware design, and achieves reliable storage by improving the reliability of hardware. In this traditional storage concept, the storage design is mainly divided into two parts: storage hardware and storage software design. Special customization is required even if the storage hardware and the common server are alike.

The idea of software-defined storage is to completely discard the process of customizing hardware from the storage design, which is a set of software on a general-purpose server, the meaning behind the concept of software-defined storage. From a technical point of view, does the storage function on a generic server be the same as the traditional storage design method? Why did software-defined storage not come out a few years ago? And why is it that it's not until today that you can aggressively implement software-defined storage?

It is not difficult to answer this question. The main reason is that the development of general server performance, the development of network technology and the development and progress of the storage medium itself promote the landing of software-defined storage. Today, an ordinary server can be installed1TBabout the memory;2RoadCPU; at leastTenmultiplePCIe3 Lanein the network, the basic board of two10GbpsEthernet,8g/16gbps FCcards are also very mainstream;IO, Flash has made great strides both in terms of performance and capacity. If the universal server, network,IOIt is difficult to implement software-defined storage if this level cannot be reached today. Imagine, a few years ago, if we wanted to reach1millionIOPSperformance, we can only achieve this by means of concurrent disk, in order to make more disk concurrency, we need a lot ofSas/satainterface, so only the motherboard can be customized to meet this design. And now, a piece ofSSDto achieve this goal. As a result, software-defined storage is supported by its technical underpinnings, and the level of computer development today, software-defined storage can blossom on the ground.

from a technical point of view, what is the difference between software in software-defined storage versus traditional storage? The hardware of traditional storage assumes the function of some system reliability, and the storage of general server is not the escort of special hardware, so it is necessary to have more fault-tolerant of software. Therefore, in the software-defined storage implementation process, the designer will run the hardware platform is assumed to be unstable, unreliable. With reliable data storage and reliable data services on these unstable, unreliable hardware platforms, the architecture of the entire system needs to change significantly. As a result, software-defined storage often uses a distributed architecture to improve the fault tolerance of the whole system through a distributed approach, minimizing the destabilizing factors introduced by general-purpose hardware. Recently, we have seen a lot of traditional storage vendors have launched their own software-defined storage solutions, which are essentially packaging their software for sale, directly run to the common server platform, the name "software-defined storage." There is no intrinsic difference between these software and the software in traditional storage, but you should know that the software was designed with a "dedicated hardware / platform" hypothesis. Once out of this dedicated hardware, how can the reliability of the entire system be effectively guaranteed? So, the "software-defined storage", which is hastily launched, is not the best product in this field, it is a rescue method. It is one thing to claim that you are an all-flash array after replacing the disk with an SSD in that year. In general, a real software-defined storage product needs to be designed for common server features, typically distributed architecture, and integrated flash, disk for tiered storage, through software that not only achieve the best performance, maximum capacity, and achieve the lowest price.

It's a huge innovation to see software-defined storage from a market perspective. Traditional storage provides dedicated equipment to match up with large server vendors, consolidating storage and servers, and driving IT System solutions together. Some non-incoming server vendors and a large number of OEMs will not be able to enter the storage area, no opportunity to cooperate with the storage vendors for mutual benefit. With the advent of the data age, these vendors are looking for a way to cut into the storage market, and software-defined storage provides such an opportunity. Software-defined storage is characterized by building storage on the platform of a common server, so that both large server vendors and OEMs have the opportunity to integrate their devices into the storage system. This undoubtedly to a large number of hardware equipment manufacturers hit a needle chicken blood, so, from this point of view, software definition storage is not the only strange. Software-defined storage integrates server vendors, network vendors, and storage software vendors to create a storage ecosystem. So, it's a huge innovation in the product and business model.

Software-defined storage from a user's point of view does save real money and is affordable. Software-defined storage uses a common server platform, and a common platform is less expensive than a dedicated platform. Greater flexibility and space in terms of serviceability and the choice of products will naturally reduce the cost of the entire storage system, thereby making customers profitable.

As you can see, software-defined storage is not a concept, nor is it a cloud floating in the air, but an innovative product that is actually blooming on the ground. Software-defined storage is a huge innovation, from the point of view of technology, products, markets, and users. However, the real need to do a good job of software-defined storage is not so simple, in the technical and traditional storage software has a large difference, it needs to emphasize the system's fault tolerance. Instead of simply packaging the software in a traditional store for sale separately. I believe that software-defined storage is the direction of future development, more looking forward to the emergence of specialized software-defined storage vendors, to promote the development of the domestic storage industry.

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Talk about software-defined storage

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