Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Where’s Data Storage Headed?

Data storage trends seem to change as quickly as you can say ‘storage device.’ Jeff Layton talks about the what IT departments need to know to stay ahead (or at least current) with the big data curve.

There is a somewhat famous saying that goes something like, “If you ask five economists their opinion, you will get 14 answers.” The general idea is that any pundit can easily give you several opinions about a subject, but economists just seem to do it better than anyone else.

This sentiment is also true in the land of IT, I believe because of the extremely fast pace of technology. Nowhere is this more true than in storage, where things are changing extremely fast, from the perspective of both technology and users and their applications.

When you get more than two storage pundits together, the conversation usually turns to the future of storage. This is true of Henry Newman and myself, when we recently recorded a podcast about our series on Linux file systems. One of the questions we were asked was what kind of file system or storage would we develop if we were kings for a day.

I started thinking more about that question while traveling and decided I’d write a bit about some ideas of where storage is headed, focusing on storage devices and tiering software, since I think the two subjects are connected.

Storage Devices

We’re discovering that the performance of a much larger number of applications than previously thought are dominated by IOPS (I/O operations per second) performance. In my particular field, high performance computing (HPC), the examination of I/O patterns in applications is showing that small read and write function calls are much more common than previously thought. It’s becoming fairly routine to see applications that write Gigabytes or even Terabytes of data to have a large number of 1K and 4K write and read function calls. Consequently, these workloads look increasingly like IOPS-dominated I/O patterns to the OS and the file system.

Read the rest about data storage trends at Enterprise Storage Forum.

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