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Software Defined, Cloud, Bulk and Object Storage Fundamentals | @CloudExpo #SDN #Cloud #Storage

Not everything is the same in cloud, virtual and traditional data centers or information factories

Software Defined, Cloud, Bulk and Object Storage Fundamentals

Welcome to the Cloud, Big Data, Software Defined, Bulk and Object Storage fundamentals page part of the objectstoragecenter.com micro site collection of resources. Software defined, Bulk, Cloud and Object Storage exist to support expanding and diverse application data demands. There are various types of cloud, bulk and object storage including public services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3), Google, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer, Rackspace among many others. There are also solutions for hybrid and private deployment from Cisco, DDN, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, HDS, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Noobaa, OpenStack, Quantum, Rackspace, Scality, Seagate, Spectra, Storpool, Suse, Swift and WD among others.

Cloud products and services among others, along with associated data infrastructures including object storage, file systems, repositories and access methods are at the center of bulk, big data, big bandwidth and little data initiatives on a public, private, hybrid and community basis. After all, not everything is the same in cloud, virtual and traditional data centers or information factories from active data to in-active deep digital archiving.

Cloud Object Storage Fundamentals Access and Architectures
There are many facets to object storage including technology implementation, products, services, access and architectures for various applications and use scenarios.

AWS S3 Cross region replication

Moving and Replicating Buckets/Containers, Subfolders and Objects

  • Project or Account - Top of the hierarchy that can represent the owner or billing information for a service that where buckets are also attached.
  • Region - Location where data is stored that can include one or more data centers also known as Availability Zones.
  • Availability Zone (AZ) or data center or server that implement durability and accessibility for availability within a region.

AWS Regions and Availability Zones AZs

Example of Regions and Availability Zones (AZs)

Object storage and cloud software defined

  • Bucket or Container - Where objects or sub-folders containing objects are attached and accessed.
  • Sub-folder - While object storage can be located in a flat namespace for commonality and organization some solutions and service support the notion of sub-folder that resemble traditional directory hierarchy.
  • Object - Byte (or bit) stream that can be as small as one byte to as large as several Tbytes (some solutions and services support up to 5TByte sized objects). The object contains whatever data in any organization along with metadata. Different solutions and services support from a couple hundred KBytes of meta-data to Mbytes worth of meta-data. Regarding what can be stored in an object, anything from files, videos, images, virtual disks (VMDKs, VHDX), ZIP or tar files, backup and archive save sets, executable images or ISO's, anything you want.
  • End-point - Where or what your software, application or tool and utilities along with gateways attach to for accessing buckets and objects.

object and cloud storage example

A common theme for object storage is flexibility, along with scaling (performance, availability, capacity, economics) along with extensibility without compromise or complexity. From those basics, there are many themes and variations from how data is protected (RAID or no RAID, hardware or software), deployed as a service or as tin wrapped software (an appliance), optimized for archiving or video serving or other applications.

Many facets of cloud and object storage access
One aspect of object and cloud storage is accessing or using object methods including application programming interfaces (APIs) vs. traditional block (LUN) or NAS (file) based approaches. Keep in mind that many object storage systems, software, and services support NAS file-based access including NFS, CIFS, HDFS  among others for compatibility and ease of use.

Likewise various APIs can be found across different object solutions, software or services including Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3) HTTP REST based, among others. Other API's will vary by specific vendor or product however can include IOS (e.g. Apple iPhone and iPad), WebDav, FTP, JSON, XML, XAM, CDMI, SOAP, and DICOM among others. Another aspect of object and cloud storage are expanded  and dynamic metadata.

While traditional file systems and NAS have simple or fixed metadata, object and cloud storage systems, services and solutions along with some scale-out file systems have ability to support user defined metadata. Specific systems, solutions, software, and services will vary on the amount of metadata that could range on the low-end from 100s of KBytes  to tens or more Mbytes.

cloud object storage

Where to learn more
The following resources provide additional information about big data, bulk, software defined, cloud and object storage.

Click here to view software defined, bulk, cloud and object storage trend news.

Via StorageIOblog: AWS EFS Elastic File System (Cloud NAS) First Preview Look

Via InfoStor: Cloud Storage Concerns, Considerations and Trends

Via InfoStor: Object Storage Is In Your Future

Via Server StorageIO: April 2015 Newsletter Focus on Cloud and Object storage

Via StorageIOblog: AWS S3 Cross Region Replication storage enhancements

Cloud conversations: AWS EBS, Glacier and S3 overview

AWS (Amazon) storage gateway, first, second and third impressions

Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Book)

Videos and podcasts at storageio.tv also available via Applie iTunes.

Human Face of Big Data

Human Face of Big Data (Book review)

Seven Databases in Seven weeks

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks (Book review)

Wrap up and summary
Object and cloud storage are in your future, the questions are when, where, with what and how among others.

Watch for more content and links to be added here soon to this object storage center page including posts, presentations, pod casts, polls, perspectives along with services and product solutions profiles.

Ok, nuff said (for now...).

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert (and vSAN). 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

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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.

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