Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Derek Weeks, Mehdi Daoudi, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Storage: Just In Time For Data Center Consolidation

Datacenter consolidation is never easy on a variety of front

There’s this funny thing about pouring two bags of M&Ms into one candy dish. The number of M&Ms is exactly the same as when you started, but now they’re all in one location. You have, in theory, saved yourself from having to wash a second candy dish, but the same number of people can enjoy the same number of M&Ms, you’ll run out of M&Ms at about the same time, and if you have junior high kids in the crowd, the green M&Ms will disappear at approximately the same rate. The big difference is that fewer people will fit around one candy dish than two, unless you take extraordinary steps to make that one candy dish more accessible. If the one candy dish is specifically designed to hold one or one and a half bags of M&Ms, well then you’re going to need a place to store the excess.

The debate about whether data center consolidation is a good thing or not is pretty much irrelevant if, for any reason your organization chooses to pursue this path. Seriously, while analysts want to make a trend out of everything these days, there are good reasons to consolidate data centers, ranging from skills shortage at one location to a hostile regulatory environment at another. Cost savings are very real when you consolidate data centers, though they’re rarely as large as you expect them to be in the planning stages because the work still has to be done, the connections still have to be routed, the data still has to be stored. You will get some synergies by hosting apps side-by-side that would  normally need separate resources, but honestly, a datacenter consolidation project isn’t an application consolidation project. It can be, but that’s a distinct piece of the pie that introduces a whole lot more complexity than simply shifting loads, and all the projects I’ve seen with both as a part of them have them in two  separate and distinct phases - “let’s get everything moved, and then focus on reducing our app footprint”.

While F5 offers products to help you with all manner of consolidation problems, this is not a sales blog, so I’ll focus on one opportunity in the cloud that is just too much of the low-hanging fruit for you not to be considering it. Moving the “no longer needed no matter what” files out to the cloud. I’ve mentioned this in previous Cloud Storage and Cloud Storage Gateway posts, but in the context of data center consolidation, it moves from  the “it just makes sense” category to the “urgently needed” category. You’re going to be increasing the workload at your converged datacenter by an unknown amount, and storage requirements will stay relatively static, but you’re shifting those requirements from two or more datacenters to one. This is the perfect time to consider your options with cloud storage. What if you could move an entire classification of your data out to the cloud, so you didn’t have to care if you were accessing it from a data center in Seattle or Cairo? What if you could move that selection of data out to the cloud and the purposely shift data centers without having to worry about that data?

Well you can… And I  see this as one of the drivers for Cloud Storage adoption. In general you will want a Cloud Storage Gateway like our ARX Cloud Extender, and using ARX or another rules-based tiering engine will certainly make the initial cloud storage propagation process easier, but the idea is simple. Skim off those thousands of files that haven’t been accessed in X days and move them to Cloud storage, freeing up local space so that maybe you won’t need to move or replace that big old NAS system from the redundant data center. X is very much dependent upon your business and even the owning business unit, I would seriously work with the business leaders to set reasonable numbers – and offering them guidance about what it will take (in terms of days X needs to be) to save the company moving or replacing an expensive (and expensive to ship) NAS.

While the benefits appear to be short-term – not consolidating the NAS devices while consolidating datacenters – they are actually very long term. They allow you to learn about cloud storage and how it fits into your architectural plans with relatively low-risk data, as time goes on, the number of files (and terabytes) that qualify for movement to the cloud will continue to increase, keeping an escape valve on your NAS growth, and the files that generally don’t need to be backed up every month or so will all be hanging off your cloud storage gateway, simplifying the backup process and reducing backup/replication windows.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the ongoing costs of cloud storage, after all, you will be paying each and every month. But I contend you would be anyway. If this becomes an issue from the business or from accounts payable, it should be relatively easy with a little research to come up with a number for what storage growth costs the company when it owns the NAS devices. The only number available to act as a damper on this cost would be the benefits of depreciation, but that’s a fraction of the total in real-dollar benefits, so my guess is that companies within the normal bounds of storage growth over the last five years can show a cost reduction over time without having to include cost-of-money-over-time calculations for “buy before you use” storage. So the cost of cloud being pieced out over months is beneficial, particularly at the prices in effect today for cloud storage.

There will no doubt be a few speed bumps, but getting them out of the way now with this never-accessed data is better than waiting until you need cloud storage and trying to figure it out on the fly. And it does increase your ability to respond to rapidly changing storage needs… Which over the last decade have been rapidly changing in the upward direction.

Datacenter consolidation is never easy on a variety of fronts, but this could make it just a little bit less painful and provide lasting benefits into the future. It’s worth considering if you’re in that position – and truthfully to avoid storage hardware sprawl, even if you’re not.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...