Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, XebiaLabs Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Data Infrastructure Primer | @CloudExpo #SDN #AI #Storage #DataCenter

Data Infrastructures exists to support business, cloud and information technology (IT)

Data Infrastructures exists to support business, cloud and information technology (IT) among other applications that transform data into information or services. The fundamental role of data infrastructures is to provide a platform environment for applications and data that is resilient, flexible, scalable, agile, efficient as well as cost-effective. Put another way, data infrastructures exist to protect, preserve, process, move, secure and serve data as well as their applications for information services delivery. Technologies that make up data infrastructures include hardware, software, cloud or managed services, servers, storage, I/O and networking along with people, processes, policies along with various tools spanning legacy, software-defined virtual, containers and cloud.

Data
Various Types and Layers of Infrastructures
Depending on your role or focus, you may have a different view than somebody else of what is infrastructure, or what an infrastructure is. Generally speaking, people tend to refer to infrastructure as those things that support what they are doing at work, at home, or in other aspects of their lives. For example, the roads and bridges that carry you over rivers or valleys when traveling in a vehicle are referred to as infrastructure.

Similarly, the system of pipes, valves, meters, lifts, and pumps that bring fresh water to you, and the sewer system that takes away waste water, are called infrastructure. The telecommunications network. This includes both wired and wireless, such as cell phone networks, along with electrical generating and transmission networks are considered infrastructure. Even the airplanes, trains, boats, and buses that transport us locally or globally are considered part of the transportation infrastructure. Anything that is below what you do, or that supports what you do is considered infrastructure.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure overview

Figure 1: Business, IT Information, Data and other Infrastructures

This is also the situation with IT systems and services where, depending on where you sit or use various services, anything below what you do may be considered infrastructure. However, that also causes a context issue in that infrastructure can mean different things. For example in Figure 1, the user, customer, client, or consumer who is accessing some service or application may view IT in general as infrastructure, or perhaps as business infrastructure.

Those who develop, service, and support the business infrastructure and its users or clients may view anything below them as infrastructure, from desktop to database, servers to storage, network to security, data protection to physical facilities. Moving down a layer (lower altitude) in figure 1 is the information infrastructure which, depending on your view, may also include servers, storage, and I/O hardware and software.

To help make a point, let's think of the information infrastructure as the collection of databases, key-value stores, repositories, and applications along with development tools that support the business infrastructure. This is where you may find developers who maintain and create real business applications for the business infrastructure. Those in the information infrastructure usually refer to what's below them as infrastructure. Meanwhile, those lower in the stack shown in figure 1 may refer to what's above them as the customer, user, or application, even if the real user is up another layer or two.

Whats inside a data infrastructure
Context matters in the discussion of infrastructure. So for our of server storage I/O fundamentals, the data infrastructures support the databases and applications developers as well as things above, while existing above the physical facilities infrastructure, leveraging power, cooling, and communication network infrastructures below.

SDDI and Data Infrastructure building blocks
Figure 2 Data Infrastructure fundamental building blocks (hardware, software, services)

Figure 2 shows the fundamental pillars or building blocks for a data infrastructure, including servers for computer processing, I/O networks for connectivity, and storage for storing data. These resources including both hardware and software as well as services and tools. The size of the environment, organization, or application needs will determine how large or small the data infrastructure is or can be.

For example, at one extreme you can have a single high-performance laptop with a hypervisor running OpenStack; along with various operating systems along with their applications leveraging flash SSD and high-performance wired or wireless networks powering a home lab or test environment. On the other hand, you can have a scenario with tens of thousands (or more) servers, networking devices, and hundreds of petabytes (PBs) of storage (or more).

In Figure 2 the primary data infrastructure components or pillar (server, storage, and I/O) hardware and software resources are packaged and defined to meet various needs. Software-defined storage management includes configuring the server, storage, and I/O hardware and software as well as services for use, implementing data protection and security, provisioning, diagnostics, troubleshooting, performance analysis, and other activities. Server storage and I/O hardware and software can be individual components, prepackaged as bundles or application suites and converged, among other options.

Figure 3 shows a deeper look into the data infrastructure shown at a high level in figure 2. The lower left of figure 2 shows the common-to-all-environments hardware, software, people, processes, and practices that include tradecraft (experiences, skills, techniques) and "valueware". Valueware is how you define the hardware and software along with any customization to create a resulting service that adds value to what you are doing or supporting. Also shown in figure 3 are common application and services attributes including performance, availability, capacity, and economics (PACE), which vary with different applications or usage scenarios.

Data Infrastructure components

Figure 3: Data Infrastructure server storage I/O hardware and software components.

Applications are what transform data into information. Figure 4 shows how applications, which are software defined by people and software, consist of algorithms, policies, procedures, and rules that are put into some code to tell the server processor (CPU) what to do.

SDDI and SDDC server storage I/O

Figure 4: How data infrastructure resources transform data into information

Application programs include data structures (not to be confused with infrastructures) that define what data looks like and how to organize and access it using the "rules of the road" (the algorithms). The program algorithms along with data structures are stored in memory, together with some of the data being worked on (i.e., the active working set). Additional data is stored in some form of extended memory storage devices such as Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) solid-state devices (SSD), hard disk drives (HDD), or tape, among others, either locally or remotely. Also shown in Figure 4 are various devices that do input/output (I/O) with the applications and server, including mobile devices as well as other application servers.

Bringing IT All Together (for now)

Software Defined Data Infrastructure overview

Figure 5: Data Infrastructure  fundamentals "big picture"

A fundamental theme is that servers process data using various applications programs to create information; I/O networks provide connectivity to access servers and storage; storage is where data gets stored, protected, preserved, and served from; and all of this needs to be managed. There are also many technologies involved, including hardware, software, and services as well as various techniques that make up a server, storage, and I/O enabled data infrastructure.

Server storage I/O and data infrastructure fundamental focus areas include:

  • Organizations: Markets and industry focus, organizational size
  • Applications: What's using, creating, and resulting in server storage I/O demands
  • Technologies: Tools and hard products (hardware, software, services, packaging)
  • Trade craft: Techniques, skills, best practices, how managed, decision making
  • Management: Configuration, monitoring, reporting, troubleshooting, performance, availability, data protection and security, access, and capacity planning

Where to Learn More

StorageIO.com (events, news, tips, resources) and StorageIOblog.com
Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking
(CRC)
And watch for my new book Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC)

What This All Means
Whether you realize it or not, you may already be using, rely upon, affiliated with, support or otherwise involved with data infrastructures. Granted what you or others generically refer to as infrastructure or the data center may, in fact, be the data infrastructure. Watch for more discussions and content about as well as related technologies, tools, trends, techniques and tradecraft in future posts as well as other venues, some of which involve legacy, others software-defined, cloud, virtual, container and hybrid.

Ok, nuff said, for now...

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, vSAN and VMware vExpert. Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Watch for the spring 2017 release of his new book "Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials" (CRC Press).

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2017 Server StorageIO(R) and UnlimitedIO All Rights Reserved

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, 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.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, 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.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, 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.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
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...
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.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
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 ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.