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Technology Focus for SNIA Europe

In this issue, I thought I would focus on the top four technology areas that are key to SNIA Europe today – Cloud Storage, Solid State Storage, Network Convergence and Data Deduplication. Because SNIA Europe is dedicated to educating the market on the evolution and application of storage infrastructure solutions for the data centre, I wanted to share with you our positioning, thoughts and recent education activities associated with these technologies. By Denise Ridolfo, SNIA Europe Executive Board of Directors & Marketing Chair, NetApp.

 

Date: 1 Oct 2010

Cloud Storage

SNIA Europe’s cloud activities focus on industry-wide collaboration, but also seek to facilitate the adoption of Cloud environments by promoting open standardized interfaces.  Cloud-based environments combine existing technologies and concepts such as virtualization and on-demand provisioning of IT services to better address business needs. They help lower capital expenditure, streamline internal processes and facilitate IT management. Delivery models such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, as well as concepts like public, private, or hybrid clouds show the multiple facets of cloud computing. Due to this complexity, cloud requires additional industry guidance, and a technological and operational change in the way users deliver and leverage their IT services. SNIA Europe enables this change by offering educational material and evangelizing open cloud standards.

Solid State Storage

SNIA Europe is committed to help end users understand the value of solid state storage (SSS) technology. SSS will have a profound impact on Enterprise Storage systems, both as a new tier of persistent storage, and as a high-capacity controller-based caching option, enabling enterprises to better align application performance needs with storage media and the related cost. SSSI uses microchips to store data with or without persistency after a power outage. It can be deployed either as chips on PCI cards or in a standard “disk” drive form factor (Solid State Disk). By avoiding mechanical, moving parts, SSS media have lower access times and latencies and deliver significantly higher IO’s per Second (IOPS), opening up new ways to balance optimal capacity and performance in the most cost effective way. SNIA created both an Solid State Storage Initiative and a technical work group to both explain and evangelise the technology, and to standardise performance measurement to drive adoption.  

Network Convergence

Network convergence can mean many things. In storage environments, it implies a single network infrastructure (10Gb Ethernet) efficiently supporting all storage traffic in the data center. The technologies that enable this convergence are the Data Center Bridging enhancements to Ethernet, and the Fibre Channel over Ethernet protocol. The other forcing function to this convergence is the administrative and cost burden imposed on IT departments by the necessity to run two high-performance networks (10Gb Ethernet and Fibre Channel) in the data center. Industry initiatives such as the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) and the SNIA Ethernet Storage Forum (ESF) contribute to the solution by providing education on both the fabric infrastructures, and their supported protocols (FCP, FCoE, iSCSI, NFS ands CIFS/SMB), and ensuring a consistent messaging, as IT organizations consider shaping their network environments to consolidate data-storage and applications traffic into one single converged fabric. This enables enterprises to both streamline operations and protect their capital investments.  

Data Deduplication

SNIA Europe recognizes capacity optimization as a major factor in helping customers address their ever-escalating data growth. Dat deduplication has been identified as a key technology that allows enterprises to significantly reduce their storage footprints: By identifying and eliminating redundant storage blocks, deduplication may free up to 80 percent storage capacity (depending on data mix) in primary, secondary, and virtualized environments. Deduplication thus reduces disk requirements, and the associated power and cooling, thus making for a more efficient, environment-friendly data infrastructure.

For more details about the work SNIA and SNIA Europe are doing around these key technologies – visit: www.snia-europe.org and www.snia.org

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