Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Do Object Storage Plays Displace File Systems or Are They Absorbed?

Expect object storage systems to become more and more popular.

NAB kept me totally away from all the interesting online discussions last week. It’s too late to respond to @JoinToigo’s tweet (we’d call this Figs after Easter in Dutch), but I thought I’d share my thoughts in a bit more than 140 characters.

The short answer is no … but a better answer is very much *yes*.

The first file systems were not designed with the thought of petabytes of data. I don’t know what the exact projections were back then, but gigabytes must have sounded pretty sci-fi. Bytes and kilobytes were a lot more common. We didn’t think that we’d soon all be creating tens if not hundreds of multi-megabyte files per day.

File systems have of course evolved a lot and some have become so popular you could actually say they have a fan base (I’d need to do research on ZFS fan clubs). It is clear that the file system has played a very important role in the evolution of the computer industry. In my list of features that helped to make computers a commodity, the file system would probably be in the top three (with the windows-style GUI and the mouse). The file system enables the use of directories, which have been the most important tool to keep our data organized.

But like Robin Harris says “entropy refers to the inherent tendency for any organized system to disorder”. Especially with the amounts of data we are dealing with today, we have to put a lot of energy into keeping our data organized. We have come to a point where our directories are not that organized anymore because we have too much data. But that doesn’t matter all that much since there are so many applications out there (and a lot more coming) that can do this for us.

Take Google docs for example. Docs lets you star and share your documents, and organize them in collections. And no matter how you organize your stuff, Docs will find it back for you. Docs has a great search function (it’s Google after all) that is lot more powerful than the search in Windows Explorer or OSX’ Finder (although spotlight is actually pretty good). Picasa and Itunes are just two more examples of applications that help us keep our data organized with hardly any role for the file system. Eventually the applications will make the file system obsolete. Many of the applications we are using today are cloud based and run on object storage, with no file system involved, the application just masks the lack of a file system.

For businesses the situation is the same but different. Applications in the cloud are increasingly popular, so a lot of business data is already stored in a public or private object store. But a lot of business applications simply need a file system interface. For now, that is. If the current data growth continues, a lot of file systems will hit their scalability limits. And here object storage will play a very important role as object storage platforms have been (at least the good ones) designed to scale out big.

One interesting example is the media and entertainment industry. If there is one industry where data is big, it’s there: think of the 4k and soon 8k movies. Movies have become multi-petabyte projects (tens of petabytes). Companies in this industry understand they need more efficient storage and tape is no longer an option. All major studios are running object storage projects right now (mostly with file systems on top). This frees them from worrying about “how many files fit into a directory before it slows down”, and “how many directories can I have” and “how deep can my file system tree become” – especially as it relates to access performance.

So, expect object storage systems to become more and more popular. As long as needed, object storage will be implemented with some file system gateway on top but eventually, when the applications are ready, we will see less and less file systems. It just makes more sense to have the application talk directly to the storage. REST makes it all very simple. And fast. And economically feasible.

And now, anticipating the next question: Shouldn’t there be some standard REST API? I used to strongly believe so. But while doing research for this piece, I stumbled across Wikipedia’s list of file systems. With hardly a dozen object storage REST API’s on the market, it’s not all that bad in my opinion. Still, I believe object storage vendors all agree standardization is good. It’s just a matter of waiting to see which API will eventually become the most popular with the applications that use them.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...