Cloud storage discussions are instigating a rethinking of storage infrastructures inside a datacenter. The thought pattern goes like this: As a datacenter owner, I’d like to use an external cloud storage supplier to drive down my storage costs and simplify my life. But I just don’t trust the external vendor to handle my data for any number of reasons. hmmm, maybe I can implement my own cloud storage environment, keep it inside my datacenter and avoid all the issues associated with using an external supplier. After all, why can’t my datacenter implement its storage environment by borrowing from the cloud storage vendor’s ideas?
Thus enters the idea of a storage infrastructure built around low cost commodity storage hardware, a distributed file system, simple management, multi-access points, multi-protocol, failure resilient, virtualized, extreme scalability, do-it-yourself storage.
Now, that’s a mouth full. How can I give an elevator pitch with that? It better be a tall building. The industry needs a name. A name I don’t have to take several breaths while saying.
Clustered Commodity Storage. Now that’s simple. Even simpler is: CCS.
I’d suggest CCStor but Symantec’s CommandCentral already uses it. And unfortunately, Scale Computing uses “Commodity based Clustered Storage” or CCS in some of their literature. But they are just getting started as a company. Perhaps a slight modification to their (one and only?) white paper could be made; consider that using the word “based” is redundant if one switches the word order. What do you say Scale Computing?
Here’s a simple diagram for what I mean by CCS:
Clustered Commodity Storage. Easy to say and brings home the concept.
Let’s walk through the definition.
Clustered: Cluster implies many similar things joined together for a purpose. Many nodes of storage are necessary to build out a storage system; certainly “cluster” applies well. The dictionary defines cluster as: “A group of the same or similar elements gathered or occurring closely together; a bunch”. Works for me. Btw, “Grid” is also a possibility but we’ve already been there.
Commodity: Commodity implies cheap and easily attainable hardware. Individual storage nodes are made from commodity hardware. Nodes can come from more than one vendor but may need to be homogenous in a single system. The storage hardware does not have the utmost in performance or reliability but is “good enough”. This makes the hardware cheap.
Storage: The necessary noun. Strip the adjectives away and generically we have storage. Not compute, not network. The collective storage, not the individual pieces making up the system. The sum of the parts, the entire system that contains data. The logical storage device that a compute device sees.
Clustered Commodity Storage. CCS.
I think that works.
Yes there are a few other definitions for CCS. But so be it. Context is everything.
Can the industry rally around the term? Entrants in this nascent market include Parascale, IBM (soFileSystem), Symantec (FIleMover), Gluster, IBrix, Scale Computing. Any others? I’ve certainly missed a few. What do you folks think? Keep your own branding but classify your products as CCS.
Can we have a harmonic convergence on terminology? Any trademark or copyright problems?
Let me know.
Posted by Gene Ruth