Kinetic Open Storage: Why It Matters for Cloud Builders

Cloud-based storage has really come a long way. The distributed nature of the cloud forced the logical evolution of the modern storage platform. Seagate recently announced Kinetic Open Storage, an interesting new platform that aims to remove another layer between applications and  storage.

Here’s Seagate’s description: “The Seagate Kinetic Open Storage platform eliminates the storage server tier of traditional data center architectures by enabling applications to speak directly to the storage device, thereby reducing expenses associated with the acquisition, deployment, and support of hyperscale storage infrastructures. Companies can realize additional cost savings while maximizing storage density through reduced power and cooling costs, and receiving potentially dramatic savings in cloud data center build outs.”

Major cloud and storage vendors can see direct benefits from adopting this type of storage solution, which allows applications to communicate with key resources that can optimize their performance. This model of cloud storage is the future of how applications will behave within a data center. By incorporating intelligent APIs into the entire stack, applications become more intelligent. As a result, your overall infrastructure will see serious gains.

So what makes up the Seagate Kinetic Cloud Storage Model? What are the real benefits, and will this technology stick in the future? Let’s take a look.

  • Creating More Intelligent Storage Solutions. Cloud-based storage has really come a long way. The distributed nature of the cloud forced the logical evolution of the modern storage platform. The Kinetic Open Storage architecture allows administrators to use cheaper, more scalable object storage solutions that free up IT professionals from having to invest in hardware and software they don’t need. Organizations will be able to better utilize storage solutions and optimize storage resources.
  • Optimizing Your Applications and Cloud. The really great thing about applications in the cloud is the software and logical layer. We are able to do so much more now with applications than ever before. By breaking down physical resource barriers, administrators can create truly optimized cloud solutions.  As Seagate goes on to explain, “With the Kinetic Open Storage platform, applications can now manage specific features and capabilities and rapidly implement and deploy in any cloud storage software stack. The technology also increases I/O efficiency by removing bottlenecks and optimizing cluster management, data replication, migration, and active archive performance.”
  • New APIs and New Open Source Capabilities. There have been two ways to go about this: proprietary or open source. Fortunately, Seagate decided to integrate key API structures which will remain open-source technologies. As Seagate points out, “Designed for rapid implementation and deployment in any cloud storage software stack, this technology can be deployed across a portfolio of storage devices enabling system builders and software developers to design new solutions that will deliver against a full array of cloud data center use cases.” This means true storage agnosticism. Furthermore, servers can utilize intelligent storage technologies to even better support the applications running on top. This new type of API structure for the Kinetic Cloud allows servers with internal storage – or full storage arrays – to leverage the performance optimizations of the platform.
  • Next-generation scale-out storage systems. Cloud computing heavily revolves around our ability to be scalable and efficient. This means that data centers and cloud providers needed to redefine how they utilize hardware and software resources. During this revolution, developers realized that they needed to reduce the amount of communication happening between the logical and the physical layer. When that challenge was overcome, you suddenly created a cloud environment capable of great scale. By better understanding hardware and software capabilities, the Kinetic Open Storage platform enables cloud service providers and independent software vendors to optimize scale-out file and object-based storage. There is already a lot of vendor buy-in from this design. “Key/ value data storage and IP interface drive modules are an important trend for scale-out storage systems,” said Yuan Yuan, senior director of Huawei’s IT Massive Storage. The next-generation storage platforms will allow applications to use resources in a balanced manner and an as-needed basis. Applications will be intelligent enough to ask for resources as required and create further cloud as well as application delivery optimization.

Data centers are already striving to create optimal systems which can process vast amounts of cloud traffic. These distributed cloud models require careful storage planning so that neither dollars nor resources are wasted. A recent article discussed how storage is shaping the cloud data center. As part of this process – the modern API has created new ways for applications, users and resources to communicate.

The days of the PC are numbered. The evolution of big data, IT consumerization and cloud computing has shown administrators the power of an application. Most devices now are web-enabled and OS agnostic. This means that they key focus becomes application delivery, rather than the operating system.

The future of the user environment will heavily revolve around application delivery and performance. This is why removing hops as an application or resource is delivered becomes critical. As cloud continues to proliferate, the need to optimize the user experience will be ever-present. This means that data center and cloud administrators will have to continuously find new ways to optimize and deliver their workloads.

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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