Using Object Storage To Deliver The Agility Today's Big Data Apps Require - InformationWeek

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5/25/2016
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Steve Bohac
Steve Bohac
Partner Perspectives
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Using Object Storage To Deliver The Agility Today’s Big Data Apps Require

Object storage delivers an underlying agility that lets a wide variety of users access and utilize data with a wide variety of applications across a wide landscape of locations.

Have you ever met a senior corporate executive who was asking for data?

Not likely. Answers are what most senior execs are seeking. Actionable answers. Answers that can help them more quickly make more highly effective decisions that drive truly impactful action.

How To Create Answers

We create these answers by analyzing data, and the commonly held belief is that the larger the sampling of data we work with, the more accurate our analysis is likely to be.

In pursuit of this, we have developed more and better ways of collecting more and more granular data points to work with. Massive amounts of them, in fact. So big that everyone refers to it as “big data.” Not only do we collect it, but we’ve developed better software to help us organize it more thoroughly, faster processors to crunch numbers for analytics at record speed, and clustering technologies to get more processors working together.

We feel the need for speed.

Yet with all this better software and faster processors, many technologists store their massive hordes of data in classic storage appliances and networks. They default to the traditional, rigid, hierarchical file structures they’ve always used, none of which scale well when you start to look at petabyte-scale operations because the hierarchy gets too big and unwieldy to manage. Just as they need their software and their processors to move massively faster, they need their storage to keep pace.

We feel the need for agility.

Object Storage Scales Well Infinitely

Object storage treats each data item individually as an object, incorporating rich metadata to track the relationships between data objects, with a universally unique identifier. Since there’s no hierarchical structure, there’s no structure to bog down as it grows larger. Object storage provides tremendous resilience thanks to incorporated redundancies that make it self-healing. The inexpensive storage devices that are typically used in an object-storage system may fail, but data loss is highly unlikely. This allows for a less expensive and more efficient deployment with greater reliability. Objects may be implemented at varying levels on geographically diverse devices, which results in a far more responsive retrieval structure.

All of this delivers an underlying agility with data manipulation, movement, storage, retrieval, and analytics, allowing a wide variety of users to access and utilize data with a wide variety of applications across a wide landscape of locations. They can move quickly to produce the answers they need. They can move quickly when asked to refine those answers further. They can deliver the needed results in dramatically less time than ever before. They are, in every sense of the word, agile.

Agility Moves Up

This agility bubbles up through their organization to the senior executives who require just as much agility in their ability to make decisions that make things happen. With superior processing power, better software, and now object storage to save and return data to where it’s most needed as responsively and quickly as possible, these executives can work with the information to refine and define their answers with far greater specificity, far faster than they ever have before. This ability to move quickly, make well-informed decisions faster, and turn on a dime when that’s what’s required shows how the agility of IT departments bubbles right up to the top, where it helps create meaningful bottom-line results.

Talk To Red Hat

Ceph storage from Red Hat was designed to support object storage. Talk to us about the data and the tools you’re using and let Red Hat show you how to increase their efficiency with object storage, rather than bog them down with classic approaches.

Steve has more than 15 years' experience in product marketing and management serving enterprise customers working for industry leaders such as Red Hat, NetApp, Violin Memory, and HP. He has travelled around the world in his career and launched numerous storage and ... View Full Bio
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